Lupus nephritis is a common manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IgA nephropathy is a common type of primary glomerulonephritis. Renal manifestations in SLE patients are often due to lupus nephritis; however, renal diseases unrelated to lupus nephritis are rarely reported. While crescentic IgA nephropathy with rapid clinical progression is rare, its development in patients with SLE in the absence of lupus nephritis is even more unusual. A 74-year-old woman with a history of SLE without known renal involvement, chronic kidney disease stage IIIa, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus presented with acute kidney injury. Her creatinine continued to rise rapidly. Renal biopsy revealed mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis with crescent formation. Immunofluorescent staining showed IgA and C3 mesangial deposition and absence of C4 and C1q, consistent with IgA nephropathy. She received a course of methylprednisolone and plasmapheresis. Unfortunately, her renal function continued to deteriorate, and she was started on hemodialysis which was continued after hospital discharge. This case illustrates crescentic IgA nephropathy without lupus nephritis as the cause of acute kidney injury in a patient with SLE. It highlights the observation that renal diseases other than lupus nephritis can develop in SLE patients.
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