Approach to Classification and Management of Childhood-Onset Lupus Nephritis

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Purpose of Review

(1) To discuss the relevance of the 2018 International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) classification system for nephritis in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). (2) To highlight current practices not addressed in the 2013 Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) consensus treatment plan (CTP) for pediatric lupus nephritis (LN).

Recent Findings

In addition to class of glomerular involvement, multiple features on kidney biopsy can be assessed for prognosis and therapeutic decision-making. There is pediatric evidence and expertise for optimization of LN classification. Yet, treatment is based primarily on whether nephritis is proliferative or membranous. Moreover, alternative strategies for induction therapy are more commonly prescribed for children.


There is a need for pediatric data to evaluate/validate LN classification systems. Updates are needed to CTPs for LN induction therapy. Pediatric nephrologists should be enrolling LN patients into existing prospective registries to build the evidence base for treatment decisions.

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Correspondence to Scott E. Wenderfer.

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Conflict of Interest

Dr. Wenderfer serves as a co-chair for the Nephritis Working Group for the SLE Committee at the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA).

Drs. Hicks and Chang declare no conflict of interest.

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All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).

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Wenderfer, S.E., Chang, J. & Hicks, M.J. Approach to Classification and Management of Childhood-Onset Lupus Nephritis. Curr Pediatr Rep (2020).

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  • Lupus
  • SLE
  • Nephritis
  • Kidney biopsy
  • Consensus treatment plan
  • Pediatrics