Severe inflammation of the kidney can indicate the serious, negative prognosis of lupus nephritis when present in conjunction with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect any part of the body, most often harming the heart, joints,skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. This book pulls together in one comprehensive reference the current knowledge regarding the inherited and immunologic abnormalities that have been identified in SLE, with specific reference to the development of renal disease and theway in which these factors may impact upon the chronic care of these patients. Since publication of the first edition in 1999, the discipline of medicine has experienced some revolutionary changes in the way drugs are used to treat to immune system diseases. On the basis of careful analysis of physical make-up, the immune system, and microscopic features of the human body, ithas become clear that multiple components of the immune system are responsible for renal injury and that any given patient can experience a combination of these mechanisms. With this in mind, specific therapies can be tested, and drugs that interrupt the immune response in highly specific ways arebeing scrutinized for their value in lupus nephritis. This new edition reflects the updated methods of classification and advances in treatment options for SLE, and covers recent clinical trials to help treat patients using the most up-to-date knowledge available. It takes a practical approach throughout, and will be of interest to those working withpatients with lupus nephritis, and those who manage their everyday care.