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Iga nephropathy

2017-02-07 15:14

Iga  nephropathy

IgA nephropathy (IgAN), also known as IgA nephritis, Berger disease  , or synpharyngitic glomerulonephritis, is a disease of the kidney (or nephropathy), specifically it is a form of glomerulonephritis or an inflammation of the glomeruli of the kidney.

IgA nephropathy is the most common glomerulonephritis worldwide.Primary IgA nephropathy is characterized by deposition of the IgA antibody in the glomerulus. There are other diseases associated with glomerular IgA deposits, the most common being IgA vasculitis (formerly known as Henoch–Schönlein purpura , which is considered by many to be a systemic form of IgA nephropathy. HSP presents with a characteristicpurpuric skin rash, arthritis, and abdominal pain and occurs more commonly in young adults (16–35 years old). HSP is associated with a more benign prognosis than IgA nephropathy. In IgA nephropathy there is a slow progression to chronic kidney failure in 25–30% of cases during a period of 20 years.

Signs and symptoms

The classic presentation (in 40–50% of the cases) is episodic hematuria, which usually starts within a day or two of a non-specific upper respiratory tract infection (hence synpharyngitic), as opposed to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which occurs some time (weeks) after initial infection. Less commonly gastrointestinal or urinary infection can be the inciting agent. All of these infections have in common the activation of mucosal defenses and hence IgA antibody production. Groin pain can also occur. The gross hematuria resolves after a few days, thoughmicroscopic hematuria may persist. These episodes occur on an irregular basis every few months and in most patients eventually subsides, although it can take many years. Renal function usually remains normal, though rarely, acute kidney failure may occur (see below). This presentation is more common in younger adults.

A smaller proportion (20-30%), usually the older population, have microscopic hematuria and proteinuria (less than 2 gram/day). These patients may not have any symptoms and are only clinically found if a physician decides to take a urine sample. Hence, the disease is more commonly diagnosed in situations where screening of urine is compulsory (e.g., schoolchildren in Japan).

Very rarely (5% each), the presenting history is:

Nephrotic syndrome (3-3.5 grams of protein loss in the urine, associated with a poorer prognosis)

Acute kidney failure (either as a complication of the frank hematuria, when it usually recovers, or due to rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis which often leads to chronic kidney failure)

Chronic kidney failure (no previous symptoms, presents with anemia, hypertension and other symptoms of kidney failure, in people who probably had longstanding undetected microscopic hematuria and/or proteinuria)

A variety of systemic diseases are associated with IgA nephropathy such as liver failure, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis,ankylosing spondylitis and HIV. Diagnosis of IgA nephropathy and a search for any associated disease occasionally reveals such an underlying serious systemic disease. Occasionally, there are simultaneous symptoms of Henoch–Schönlein purpura; see below for more details on the association. Some HLA alleles have been suspected along with complement phenotypes as being genetic factors.

Diagnosis 

For an adult patient with isolated hematuria, tests such as ultrasound of the kidney and cystoscopy are usually done first to pinpoint the source of the bleeding. These tests would rule out kidney stones and bladder cancer, two other common urological causes of hematuria. In children and younger adults, the history and association with respiratory infection can raise the suspicion of IgA nephropathy. A kidney biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. The biopsy specimen shows proliferation of the mesangium, with IgA deposits on immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. However, patients with isolated microscopic hematuria (i.e. without associated proteinuria and with normal kidney function) are not usually biopsied since this is associated with an excellent prognosis. A urinalysis will show red blood cells, usually as red cell urinary casts.Proteinuria, usually less than 2 grams per day, also may be present. Other renal causes of isolated hematuria include thin basement membrane disease and Alport syndrome, the latter being a hereditary disease associated with hearing impairment and eye problems.

Other blood tests done to aid in the diagnosis include CRP or ESR, complement levels, ANA, and LDH. Protein electrophoresis and immunoglobulin levels can show increased IgA in 50% of all patients.

 

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