Study Finds New Predictor of Treatment Response for People with Lupus Nephritis
New research out of Japan finds that a urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (u-KIM-1) level correlate with lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease) disease activity. KIM-1 is a recently discovered protein thought to be involved in kidney damage. u-KIM-1 refers to the KIM-1 protein when collected via urine sample. The findings suggest u-KIM-1 may be helpful in predicting treatment response and therefore act as a useful biomarker to help guide individualized LN treatment plans.
Over the course of a year, researchers studied 61 people, predominantly of Japanese ethnicity, diagnosed with LN and split them into 2 groups: those with active LN and those without active LN. The 38 people with active LN underwent a renal (kidney) biopsy, which is the “gold standard” for determining renal activity for people with LN but is very invasive. Disease activity, renal tissue structure changes, and predictors of renal function were also examined in both groups. They found proteinuria (high levels of protein in urine which can affect kidney function) and u-KIM-1 levels were elevated in those with active LN. u-KIM-1 levels may be a good alternative biomarker for those who can’t undergo the biopsy procedure.
Identifying LN earlier in the disease process can help inform treatment plans and possibly lead to improve help outcomes. Additional research is needed to further understand the association between LN and u-KIM-1 as a biomarker. Learn more about lupus and the kidneys.
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