First of all, what is lupus nephritis?
Lupus nephritis is an inflammation specific structures in the kidneys known as nephrons. Often, this inflammation is originally caused by systemic lupus.
You have two kidneys. They are bean-shaped, fist-sized organs located just below you rib cage on either side of the spine. They play a crucial role in keeping the body free from toxins by filtering blood and removing extra water.
Lupus nephritis affects anywhere from 40-60% of people with lupus. Also, men are more likely to develop it as compared to women.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined 6 levels of lupus nephritis that vary based on the severity. A combination of tests diagnose lupus nephritis including:
- Urine tests
- Measures the amount of protein and red blood cells in the urine
- Blood tests
- Measures creatinine as a proxy for glomerular filtration rate (GFA). GFA is the rate at which your kidneys filter waste
- Kidney biopsy
- A biopsy is a small sample of the kidney that is removed. Looking under a microscope, a pathologist uses a biopsy to confirm nephritis, measure disease progress, and plan treatments.
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I was diagnosed with lupus anticoagulant. How are they related