Urine biomarker score captures response to induction therapy with lupus nephritis

Ellen M. Cody, Scott E. Wenderfer, Kathleen E. Sullivan, Alfred H.J. Kim, Wesley Figg, Harneet Ghumman, Tingting Qiu, Bin Huang, Prasad Devarajan, Hermine I. Brunner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The Renal Activity Index for Lupus (RAIL) consists of urine protein assessment of neutrophil gelatinase–associated lipocalin, kidney injury molecule-1, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, adiponectin, hemopexin, and ceruloplasmin, which non-invasively identifies lupus nephritis (LN). We aimed to delineate RAIL scores with inactive versus active LN and changes over time with response to LN induction therapy. Methods: There were 128 pediatric patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and age-matched healthy controls recruited in a prospective case control study, with kidney biopsy confirmation of LN. Laboratory and clinical information was recorded and urine collected at diagnosis and end of induction and during maintenance therapy. Response to therapy was assessed by repeat kidney biopsy or laboratory parameters. Urine was assayed for RAIL biomarkers and the RAIL score calculated. Results: Pediatric RAIL (pRAIL) scores from 128 children and young adults with SLE (with/without LN: 70/38) including 25 during LN induction therapy, differentiated clinically active LN from inactive LN or without LN, and controls (all p < 0.0017). pRAIL scores significantly decreased with complete LN remission by 1.07 ± 1.7 (p = 0.03). Conclusions: The RAIL biomarkers differentiate LN patients based on activity of kidney disease, with decreases of ≥ 1 in pRAIL scores indicating complete response to induction therapy. Significantly lower RAIL scores in healthy controls and in SLE patients without known LN raise the possibility of subclinical kidney disease. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2679-2688
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Biomarker
  • Induction
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Urine


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