Your doctor may suspect lupus nephritis if you:
- Have protein in your urine
- Have elevated creatinine in your blood
- Have high blood pressure
- Show signs of swelling in your hands or feet
Diagnostic tests for lupus nephritis at Mayo Clinic include:
- Renal function testing. Mayo nephrologists use a variety of tests, including blood tests and 24-hour urine collection, to accurately measure your kidney function. Iothalamate clearance testing, which uses a special contrast agent to track how well your kidneys are filtering, may be done if traditional tests don't provide clear measurement of your kidney function. Mayo Clinic is one of the few centers to specialize in iothalamate clearance testing.
- Kidney biopsy. Biopsy — where your doctor removes a small portion of kidney tissue for lab analysis — is the gold-standard test to confirm the diagnosis of many kidney diseases, including lupus nephritis. It can also help determine the severity of the disease. Because of the large number of people treated for kidney diseases, Mayo Clinic has a dedicated Renal Pathology Laboratory. Having a biopsy performed at Mayo Clinic ensures that it will be done by specialists with a great deal of experience and an outstanding track record for safety.