New Lupus Nephritis Test Under Development: The Non-invasive System Uses a Smartphone App to Monitor Disease Activity
A new study found that a simple urine test may someday allow people with lupus to monitor lupus nephritis (LN) activity accurately from home. LN, a serious complication of lupus, causes kidney inflammation and can be challenging to diagnose. A kidney biopsy remains the gold standard for LN diagnosis and prognosis, however it is an invasive procedure that cannot be done frequently. To address that challenge, the development of noninvasive biomarkers and easy testing is critically important to empower people living with lupus to conveniently monitor their health and enable early diagnosis.
In the study, researchers used a portable at-home detection device which works with a smartphone app to non-invasively assess and test LN activity. Researchers tested LN disease biomarker urinary ALCAM (uALCAM) activity from four groups, including 30 with renal active LN, 18 active non-renal lupus, 29 inactive lupus patients, and 30 health controls. The biomarker test was able to distinguish active LN patients from all other lupus patients with an accuracy of 86%, suggesting a strong correlation of the biomarker with renal (kidney) disease activity.
Kidney damage from LN is prevalent among people with lupus which highlights the importance of early diagnosis. This kind of easy testing is convenient and allows for early detection and monitoring of disease progression which could potentially be lifesaving for those living with lupus. Additionally, this may allow for preventative strategies and help minimize treatment-related side effects. Learn more about kidney health and lupus.
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