May. 03, 2012

A Significant Step Forward in Improving the Care and Treatment for Adults with Lupus

New guidelines help physicians screen, treat and manage adult lupus nephritis

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is pleased to report that the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued new guidelines for screening, treating, and managing lupus nephritis. The new guidelines, currently available on ACR’s Web site, will be published in the April 2012 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Lupus nephritis, lupus-related kidney inflammation, is one of the most common and serious complications of lupus. About 50-60% of people with lupus develop lupus nephritis within 10 years of a lupus diagnosis, and the rate is even higher among children with the disease. If not adequately controlled, lupus nephritis can lead to kidney failure, the need for chronic dialysis or kidney transplantation, and potentially death.

To ensure physicians are armed with the most up-to-date information for treating and managing lupus nephritis, the ACR and a team of expert rheumatologists, nephrologists, and pathologists, including the guidelines’ lead author Bevra H. Hahn, M.D., member of LFA’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Council and Chief of Rheumatology at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, reviewed and analyzed years of medical research (dating back to 1966) to determine the optimal management and treatment strategies for lupus nephritis. These strategies are what make up the new guidelines. Click here for more about the guidelines.

Currently, there is no accepted standard of care for treating lupus nephritis, and treatment can vary widely across physicians. The new guidelines codify what expert rheumatologists and nephrologists have been learning over the last two decades about diagnosing and treating lupus nephritis in an effort to help inform patient care.

The LFA is leading efforts in this critical area by providing funding to facilitate lupus nephritis research in both adults and children. While significant progress in lupus research has been made, there is still so much work to be done to find the next breakthrough. More information about lupus and our ongoing research efforts is available by visiting <./p>

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