St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    IgA nephropathy

    Nephropathy - IgA; Berger's disease

    Nephropathy is damage, disease, or other problems with the kidney. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disorder in which antibodies called IgA build up in kidney tissue.

    It is also called Berger's disease.

    Causes

    IgA is a protein called an antibody that helps the body fight infections. IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease) occurs when too much of this protein is deposited in the kidneys. IgA builds up inside the small blood vessels of the kidney. Structures in the kidney called glomeruli become inflamed and damaged.

    IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease) is a form of mesangial proliferative nephritis.

    The disorder can appear suddenly (acute), or get worse slowly over many years (chronic glomerulonephritis).

    Risk factors include:

    • A personal or family history of IgA nephropathy or Henoch Schonlein purpura, a form of vasculitis that affects many parts of the body
    • Caucasian or Asian ethnicity

    IgA nephropathy can occur in people of all ages, but it most often affects males in their teens to late 30s.

    Symptoms

    There may be no symptoms for many years.

    Symptoms include:

    • Bloody urine that starts during or soon after a respiratory infection
    • Repeated episodes of dark or bloody urine
    • Swelling of the hands and feet
    • Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

    Exams and Tests

    IgA nephropathy usually is discovered when a person with no other symptoms of kidney problems has one or more episodes of dark or bloody urine.

    There are no specific changes seen during a physical examination. Sometimes, the blood pressure may be high or there may be swelling of the body.

    Tests include:

    • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) blood test to measure kidney function
    • Creatinine blood test to measure kidney function
    • Kidney biopsy to confirm the diagnosis
    • Urinalysis
    • Urine immunoelectrophoresis

    Treatment

    The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent or delay chronic renal failure.

    You may get medicines to control high blood pressure and swelling (edema), such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Controlling blood pressure is the most important way to delay kidney damage.

    Corticosteroids, other drugs that suppress the immune system, and fish oil have also been used to treat this disorder.

    Salt and fluids may be restricted to control swelling. A low to moderate protein diet may be recommended in some cases.

    Some people will need to take medicines to lower their cholesterol.

    Eventually, many patients must be treated for chronic kidney disease and may need dialysis.

    Support Groups

    For additional information and support, see the IgA Nephropathy Support Network website (www.igansupport.org).

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    IgA nephropathy gets worse slowly. In many cases, it does not get worse at all. Your condition is more likely to get worse if you have:

    • High blood pressure
    • Large amounts of protein in the urine
    • Increased BUN or creatinine levels

    About 25% of adults with IgA nephropathy develop end-stage kidney failure within 25 years.

    • Acute nephritic syndrome or nephrotic syndrome
    • Chronic kidney failure
    • End-stage kidney disease

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if you have bloody urine or if you are producing less urine than usual.

    References

    Appel GB. Glomerular disorders and nephrotic syndromes. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 122.

    Nachman PH, Jennette JC, Falk RJ. Primary glomerular disease. In: Brenner BM, ed. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 30.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Male urinary system

      illustration

      • Male urinary system

        illustration

      Tests for IgA nephropathy

        Review Date: 9/8/2013

        Reviewed By: Charles Silberberg, DO, Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with New York Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
        adam.com

        A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


        Back  |  Top
        About Us
        Contact Us
        History
        Mission
        Locations & Directions
        Quality Reports
        Annual Reports
        Honors & Awards
        Community Health Needs
        Assessment

        Newsroom
        Services
        Brain & Spine
        Cancer
        Heart
        Maternity
        Orthopedics
        Pulmonary
        Sleep Medicine
        Urgent Care
        Women's Services
        All Services
        Patients & Visitors
        Locations & Directions
        Find a Physician
        Tour St. Luke's
        Patient & Visitor Information
        Contact Us
        Payment Options
        Financial Assistance
        Send a Card
        Mammogram Appointments
        Health Tools
        My Personal Health
        mystlukes
        Spirit of Women
        Health Information & Tools
        Clinical Trials
        Health Risk Assessments
        Employer Programs -
        Passport to Wellness

        Classes & Events
        Classes & Events
        Spirit of Women
        Donate & Volunteer
        Giving Opportunities
        Volunteer
        Physicians & Employees
        For Physicians
        Remote Access
        Medical Residency Information
        Pharmacy Residency Information
        Physician CPOE Training
        Careers
        Careers
        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
        Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile