Renoprotective strategies in lupus nephritis: beyond immunosuppression
ABSTRACT Lupus nephritis needs to be diagnosed promptly and treated specifically with appropriate immunosuppression. However, all patients with lupus nephritis have by definition chronic kidney disease (CKD) as they will have proteinuria with varying degrees of renal impairment. CKD requires careful additional management, not only to reduce the risk of progression to end-stage renal disease but also because it is probably the strongest risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This review focuses on the evidence underscoring strategies to prevent progression of CKD beyond the "simple" treatment of the lupus nephritis. The strategies include immaculate control of blood pressure, inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system to reduce blood pressure and proteinuria, and the benefits of lifestyle modifications such as tackling smoking, obesity and exercise. We also review the literature on control of dyslipidaemias which, although clearly of cardiovascular benefit, provide less compelling data for offering renoprotection. We touch on the emerging area of the importance of controlling urate levels in protecting against progressive renal impairment. Finally, there is a reminder about the importance of considering the nephrotoxicity of all medications prescribed for patients with lupus nephritis - above all the need to avoid the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Overall, the theme is that there is much more to the management of patients with lupus nephritis than "just" the nephritis - a multidisciplinary approach involving nephrologists as well as rheumatologists is more likely to provide the appropriate wider care required for all patients with lupus nephritis.
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ABSTRACT: Vascular injury is one of the typical symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and may play a key role in the choice of treatment strategy and prediction of prognosis. In this review, diverse vascular lesions in SLE and their clinical significance are discussed. The clinical features of vascular disease in SLE differ from organ to organ, and may be extreme with regard to renal vascular lesions. Vascular lesions in SLE may be of inflammatory or thrombotic origin, and immune system dysfunction is considered to be a predominant feature. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that the activation and injury of endothelial cells might play a key role in the pathogenesis. Vascular lesions in SLE are mediated by a complex interaction between the immune system and other contributing factors. Different therapies developed for vascular lesions, both immunosuppressive and nonimmunosuppressive, should be selected based on the different clinical and pathological characteristics, and our future understanding of the different mechanisms involved.Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension 03/2014; DOI:10.1097/01.mnh.0000444812.65002.cb · 4.24 Impact Factor