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J Nephrol. 2003 Nov-Dec;16(6):787-91.

Renal replacement therapy in lupus nephritis.

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Division of Nephrology, IRCCS Maggiore Hospital, Milan, Italy.


The indications and the choice of renal replacement therapy for lupus patients are similar to those for other uremic patients. However, lupus patients can pose some particular problems. First, 10-28% of patients needing dialysis can have a partial renal function recovery. Therefore, the clinician has to decide whether to administer a rescue treatment, risking side-effects, or to reduce immunosuppression precluding a potential recovery. Many patients on regular dialysis show subdued biological and clinical activity. Others can show a hectic disease activity, particularly in the 1st year. In these cases, treatment is difficult, as vigorous immunosuppression can expose uremic patients to severe side-effects. The presence of circulating antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) can favor thrombosis or stenosis of vascular access (VA). Renal transplantation is the best therapy for most lupus patients with end-stage renal failure. Many, but not all, studies have reported similar patient and graft survival rates in lupus and in non-lupus transplant recipients. The results are much better with living donor transplantation. Patients with aPL, black patients and those on long-term dialysis have a higher graft failure risk. Candidates with active lupus and/or those with significant iatrogenic morbidity should be advised to wait 6-12 months before transplantation. The recurrence risk of lupus nephritis ranged between 2% and 30% in different studies. The histological picture does not usually show severe features. Antiplatelet agents or anticoagulation can be advised for aPL patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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