How does your doctor diagnose kidney lupus?

How does your doctor diagnose kidney lupus?

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Kidney lupus can be difficult to diagnose, because while ankle and abdomen swelling may indicate kidney disease, most people do not realize there is a problem until they visit the doctor for lab tests and blood work.

To test you for the disease, your doctor will perform a urinalysis. Your doctor will check your urine sample for red blood cells, red blood cell casts, and protein that has leaked from your kidneys into your urine.

You may also need to take a 24-hour urine test to determine how efficiently your kidneys filter blood.

Your doctor may also recommend you visit a nephrologist, or kidney specialist. A nephrologist can take a biopsy of your kidney to determine the extent of your disease. There are 6 levels of kidney lupus, which include:

  • Normal glomeruli
  • Mesangial disease
  • Focal proliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis
  • Membranous nephropathy
  • Sclerosing nephropathy

Classifying your kidney disease will help your doctor design a specific course of treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.