Acute lupus nephritis

Case contributed by Hani Makky Al Salam


Known case of SLE presented with acute shortness of breath.

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Female

Flask-shaped enlargement of the cardiac silhouette in keeping with pericardial effusion. Obliteration of the left costophrenic sulcus in keeping with probable pleural effusion. 


A huge large circumferential pericardial effusion is noted.

Mildly enlarged and increase in number of bilateral axillary lymph nodes and suggestion of increased number of mediastinal lymph nodes, however, evaluation is limited due to lack of IV contrast.  

The left lower lobe atelectasis is noted due to a small left sided pleural effusion. Small trace of right sided pleural fluid.  

No masses or consolidation is seen.  

Mild pulmonary edema.

Transthoracic Echocardiogram


There is a large circumferential pericardial effusion with signs suggestive of early tamponade.

Structurally normal aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonic valves with trace tricuspid and pulmonic regurgitation.

Normal chamber dimensions with normal right and left ventricular systolic function, estimated LV EF is 60-65%.


Decreased amount of pericardial effusion after insertion of a drainage catheter. 



US-guided renal biopsy.


Left perinephric hematoma as a complication of renal biopsy

After treatment


Normalization after treatment.

Case Discussion

Kidney biopsy: Lupus nephritis class IV-G (A).

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.