Renal disorders in rheumatologic diseases: the spectrum is changing (Part 1: connective tissue diseases)

Claudio Ponticelli, Andrea Doria, Gabriella Moroni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The kidney is frequently involved by autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The renal manifestations may be variable, ranging from asymptomatic proteinuria and microscopic haematuria to nephrotic syndrome and rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis or vasculitis. In a number of cases the kidney involvement is related to the treatment of the original disease and may represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Thus, it is important for nephrologists and rheumatologists to remember that dysfunction of the kidney may be part of the primary systemic disorder or consequence of its pharmacotherapy. In the first part of this review we will analyse the kidney involvement in four autoimmune connective tissue diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, and systemic sclerosis. Renal disease is common in lupus and is a main cause of morbidity and mortality. About 10% of patients with Sjögren syndrome may present interstitial nephritis or, more rarely, glomerulonephritis. Myoglobinuria and acute kidney injury is a frequent complication of polymyositis. Renal disease is one of the most serious complications of systemic sclerosis and may present with a dramatic renal crisis, characterized by malignant hypertension, oligo-anuria, and microangiopathic thrombocytopenic anaemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1080
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Lupus nephritis
  • Malignant hypertension
  • Myoglobinuria
  • Polymyositis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjögren syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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