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Editorial

Can measuring urinary biomarkers improve the management of lupus nephritis?

Anisur Rahman

Author Affiliations

Centre for Rheumatology Research, 4th Floor, Rayne Institute, 5 University Street, London WC1E 6JF

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:127  doi:10.1186/ar4098


See related research by Singh et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/14/4/R164

Published: 19 December 2012

Abstract

Although renal biopsy is the most accurate way of assessing renal inflammation in patients with lupus nephritis (LN), the technique is invasive and cannot be performed frequently. Currently used blood and urine biomarkers have limited utility in monitoring the activity of nephritis. In a previous issue of Arthritis Research and Therapy, Singh and colleagues showed that measuring urinary levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 could be useful in both diagnosing and monitoring LN. These levels are higher in patients with lupus than controls, are higher in lupus patients who have active renal disease compared with those who do not, and correlate significantly with the histological activity index in renal biopsies of patients with LN.