Mathematics might be able to reduce the need for invasive biopsies in patients suffering kidney damage related to the autoimmune disease lupus. In a new study, researchers developed a math model that can predict the progression from nephritis – kidney inflammation – to interstitial fibrosis, scarring in the kidney that current treatments cannot reverse. A kidney biopsy is the only existing way to reach a definitive diagnosis of the damage and its extent. The model could also be used to monitor the effectiveness of experimental treatments for inflammation and fibrosis.
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