Biomarkers may have a diagnostic or monitoring value, or may predict response to therapy or disease course. The aim of this review is to discuss new serum and urinary biomarkers recently proposed for the diagnosis and management of SLE patients. Novel sensitive and specific assays have been proposed to evaluate complement proteins, 'old' biomarkers that are still a cornerstone in the management of this disease. Chemokines and lectins have been evaluated as surrogate biomarkers of IFN signature. Other cytokines like the B cell activating factor (BAFF) family cytokines are directly related to perturbations of the B cell compartment as key pathogenetic mechanism of the disease. A large number of urine biomarkers have been proposed, either related to the migration and homing of leukocytes to the kidney or to the local regulation of inflammatory circuits and the survival of renal intrinsic cells. The combination of traditional disease-specific biomarkers and novel serum or urine biomarkers may represent the best choice to correctly classify, stage and treat patients with SLE.