Renal damage is one of the most serious complications of SLE. The majority of Lupus people have some degree of asymptomatic microscopic kidney damage. Less than 50 percent have clinical renal disease, and most of those with renal disease have one of the milder forms. Kidney damage may necessitate treatment with corticosteroids, cytotoxic agents, dialysis, or renal transplantation.
Renal biopsy can be helpful in making decisions about drug treatments and determining prognosis by assessing the presence of active renal disease versus scarring.