Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis is a kidney disorder that involves inflammation and changes to kidney cells. It may lead to kidney failure.
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli. The glomeruli of the kidney help filter wastes and fluids from the blood to form urine.
Glomerulonephritis is a type of kidney disease in which the part of your kidneys that helps filter waste and fluids from the blood is damaged....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is a form of glomerulonephritis caused by an abnormal immune response. Deposits of antibodies build up in a part of the kidneys called the glomerular basement membrane. This membrane helps filter wastes and extra fluids from the blood.
The immune response is how your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful....Read Article Now Book Mark Article
An antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include micr...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Damage to this membrane affects the kidney's ability to create urine normally. It may allow blood and protein to leak into the urine. If enough protein leaks into the urine, fluid may leak out of the blood vessels into body tissues, leading to swelling (edema). Nitrogen waste products may also build up in the blood (azotemia).
Swelling is the enlargement of organs, skin, or other body parts. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues. The extra fluid can lead to a ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Prerenal azotemia is an abnormally high level of nitrogen waste products in the blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article
The 2 forms of this disease are MPGN I and MPGN II.
Most people with the disease have type I. MPGN II is much less common. It also tends to get worse faster than MPGN I.
Causes of MPGN may include:
- Autoimmune diseases (systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, Sjögren syndrome, sarcoidosis)
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It c...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Scleroderma is a disease that involves the buildup of scar-like tissue in the skin and elsewhere in the body. It also damages the cells that line th...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Sjögren syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed. This causes dry mouth and dry eyes. The...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Cancer (leukemia, lymphoma)
- Infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, endocarditis, malaria)
Hepatitis B is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the liver due to infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Other types of viral hepatitis ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver. Other types of viral hepatitis include:Hepatitis AHepatitis BHepat...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Endocarditis is inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium). It is caused by a bacterial or, rarely a fun...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Changes in mental status such as decreased alertness or decreased concentration
Changes in mental status
Confusion is the inability to think as clearly or quickly as you normally do. You may feel disoriented and have difficulty paying attention, remembe...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Cloudy urine
- Dark urine (smoke, cola, or tea colored)
- Decrease in urine volume
- Swelling of any part of the body
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. The provider may find that you have signs of too much fluid in the body, such as:
- Swelling, often in the legs
- Abnormal sounds when listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope
- You may have high blood pressure
The following tests help confirm the diagnosis:
- BUN and creatinine blood test
BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen. Urea nitrogen is what forms when protein breaks down. A test can be done to measure the amount of urea nitrogen ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
- Blood complement levels
- Urine protein
- Kidney biopsy (to confirm membranoproliferative GN I or II)
Treatment depends on the symptoms. The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms, prevent complications, and slow the progression of the disorder.
You may need a change in diet. This may include limiting sodium, fluids, or protein to help control high blood pressure, swelling, and the buildup of waste products in the blood.
Medicines that may be prescribed include:
- Blood pressure medicines
- Dipyridamole, with or without aspirin
- Medicines to suppress the immune system, such as cyclophosphamide
Treatment is more effective in children than in adults. Dialysis or kidney transplant may eventually be needed to manage kidney failure.
The disorder often slowly gets worse and eventually results in chronic kidney failure.
Chronic kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. The main job of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body...Read Article Now Book Mark Article
Half of people with this condition develop long-term (chronic) kidney failure within 10 years. This is more likely in those who have higher levels of protein in their urine.
Complications that may result from this disease include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- You have symptoms of this condition
- Your symptoms get worse or do not go away
- You develop new symptoms, including decreased urine output
Preventing infections such as hepatitis or managing diseases such as lupus may help prevent MPGN.
Walead Latif, MD, Nephrologist and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Roberts ISD. Kidney diseases. In: Cross SS, ed. Underwood's Pathology: A Clinical Approach. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.
Saha MK, Pendergraft WF, Jennette JC, Falk RJ. Primary glomerular disease. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 31.
Sethi S, De Vriese AS, Fervenza FC. Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis. In: Feehally J, Floege J, Tonelli M, Johnson RJ, eds. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.