End-stage renal disease in systemic lupus erythematosus
Kidney Failure, Chronic
The progression of lupus nephritis severe enough to require dialysis does not necessarily indicate that it is "end-stage." Ten percent to 28% of patients with lupus nephritis who develop renal failure requiring dialysis will recover enough function to come off dialysis. The clinical activity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is quiescent in most patients with end-stage lupus nephritis, regardless of the modality of dialysis treatment. Clinical and serologic remission of SLE permits judicious withdrawal of immunosuppressive therapy, as well as a favorable long-term outcome for patients that is comparable to that of nonlupus patients. The great majority of deaths in patients with end-stage lupus nephritis occur in the first 3 months of dialysis and most often result from infection. Later, infection and cardiovascular complications are common causes of death. Patients with lupus nephritis should wait at least 3 months on dialysis before receiving a kidney transplantation. Immunosuppressive therapy and graft survival rates for lupus patients are not different from those of nonlupus patients. Recurrence of lupus nephritis in the allograft is exceedingly rare.