IgA Nephropathy

(Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy; Berger’s Disease)

Definition

IgA nephropathy is a disorder of the kidney. It may start with minor changes in the kidneys, but it can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
Anatomy of the Kidney
Glomerulonephritis
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

IgA nephropathy is caused by a buildup of the IgA protein in the kidneys. IgA proteins help the body fight infections. There are more of these proteins when you have an infection like the cold or flu.The protein buildup can damage the filters of the kidneys. These filters are needed to clean the blood as it passes through. If the filters are damaged, then the kidneys are not able to clean the blood. Minor damage to the filters will not cause any changes. Major damage will worsen your health. IgA nephropathy can also cause some blood and protein to leak into the urine.Genetics may play a role in the buildup of IgA proteins in the kidney.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase may your chance of IgA nephropathy include: gastrointestinal such as cirrhosis, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseaseinfectious disease such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitispulmonary disease such as bronchiolitis obliterans, small cell lung cancerlymphomadermatitis herpetiformisseronegative arthritis

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