Goodpasture syndrome is a rare disease that can affect the lungs and kidneys. It is an autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body’s own defense system reacts against some part of the body itself. When the immune system is working normally, it creates antibodies to fight off germs. No one knows why, in Goodpasture syndrome, the immune system makes antibodies that end up attacking the lungs and kidneys. A combination of factors has been implicated, and among these is the presence of an inherited component.
Goodpasture syndrome can cause people to cough up blood or feel a burning sensation when urinating. But the first signs of this disease may be vague, like fatigue, nausea, dyspnea (difficult breathing), or pallor. These signs are followed by kidney involvement, represented first with small amounts of blood in the urine, protein excretion in the urine, and other clinical and laboratory findings.
To diagnose Goodpasture syndrome, doctors can now use a blood test, but a kidney biopsy may be necessary to check for the presence of the harmful antibody.
Goodpasture syndrome is treated with immunosuppressive drugs given by mouth to keep the immune system from making antibodies. Corticosteroids may be given intravenously to control bleeding in the lungs. A process called plasmapheresis (PLAZ-ma-fer-REE-sis) may be helpful and necessary to filter the harmful antibodies from the blood; this is usually done in combination with the steroid treatment.
Goodpasture syndrome may last only a few weeks or as long as 2 years. Bleeding in the lungs can be very serious in some cases. But Goodpasture syndrome does not usually lead to permanent lung damage. Damage to the kidneys, however, may be long-lasting. If the kidneys fail, kidney transplantation or dialysis therapy to remove waste products and extra fluid from the blood may become necessary.
For more information, contact the following organizations:
American Kidney Fund
6110 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
Home page: http://www.akfinc.org/
National Kidney Foundation
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
Home page: http://www.kidney.org/
Additional Information on Goodpasture Syndrome
The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on kidney and urologic diseases for the Combined Health Information Database (CHID). CHID is a database produced by health-related agencies of the Federal Government. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources.
To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of CHID. To obtain this information you may view the results of the automatic search on Goodpasture Syndrome.
Or, if you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access the CHID Online web site and search CHID yourself.National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse 3 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3580
E-mail: National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1987, the clearinghouse provides information about diseases of the kidneys and urologic system to people with kidney and urologic disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. NKUDIC answers inquiries; develops, reviews, and distributes publications; and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about kidney and urologic diseases.
Publications produced by the clearinghouse are carefully reviewed for scientific accuracy, content, and readability.
This e-text is not copyrighted. The clearinghouse encourages users of this e-pub to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.
NIH Publication No. 99-4558