Vol 4-1 Mini Review Article

Recent Advancements on Lupus Podocytopathy: A Rising Entity of Nonimmune Complex-Mediated Nephropathy Associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus nephritis (LN), a common and serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is considered as a typical immune-complex mediated disease, and currently classified into 6 classes, primarily based on histologic findings of glomerular involvement, which became accepted worldwide for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment guide. In recent years, a rising numbers of cases are reported to have a nonimmune complex-mediated glomerular podocytopathy among SLE patients presenting with nephrotic syndrome. The kidney biopsy done in those patients showed some with minimal change disease-like features, some with mesangial proliferation and some with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis on light microscopy (LM), but all with diffuse foot process effacement (FPE), and no glomerular capillary proliferation/inflammation on LM as seen in class lll and IV LN and no glomerular capillary immune deposits on immunofluorescence (IF) study, observed in class V LN, suggestive of podocyte injury caused by a nonimmune complex mediated pathway, called as “lupus podocytopathy”. Although it is not accepted as a class of LN, the case of lupus podocytopathy of non-immune complex origin is growing and emerging as a distinct entity, of active lupus nephritis, since lupus podocytopathy usually occurs concurrently with extrarenal and active serologic activity, and mostly within 6 months of SLE onset.

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