IgA Nephropathy

IgA Nephropathy

IgA nephropathy is a kidney disorder caused by deposits of the protein immunoglobulin A (IgA) inside the glomeruli (filters) within the kidney. These glomeruli (the singular form is glomerulus) normally filter wastes and excess water from the blood and send them to the bladder as urine. The IgA protein prevents this filtering process, leading to blood and protein in the urine and swelling in the hands and feet. This chronic kidney disease may progress over a period of 10 to 20 years. If this disorder leads to end-stage renal disease, the patient must go on dialysis or receive a kidney transplant.

The IgA protein is a normal part of the body’s system to protect against disease (the immune system). We do not know what causes IgA deposits in the glomeruli. But, since IgA nephropathy may run in families, genetic factors probably contribute to the disease.

Kidney disease usually cannot be cured. Once the tiny filtering units are damaged, they cannot be repaired. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of the disease and preventing complications. One complication is high blood pressure, which further damages glomeruli.

Some patients may benefit from limiting protein in their diet to reduce the buildup of waste in the blood. Patients with IgA nephropathy often have high cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol–through diet, medication, or both–appears to help slow the progression of IgA nephropathy.

More information is available from:

American Kidney Fund
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 1010
Rockville, MD 20852
(800) 638-8299

IgA Nephropathy Support Network
484 East State Street
Granby, MA 01033
(413) 467-9689

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
(301) 592-8573

National Kidney Foundation
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
(800) 622-9010

Physicians and patients interested in a placebo-controlled, multi-center trial evaluating alternate-day prednisone and fish oil supplements in young patients with IgA nephropathy should call the Central Office of the Southwest Pediatric Nephrology Group at 1-800-345-IGAN. Or visit the SPNSG web site.

Additional Information on IgA Nephropathy

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 CHID search. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on IgA Nephropathy.

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). 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. 99-4571