In this rare disease, abnormal proteins are deposited around the glomerulus. It may also cause nephrotic syndrome.
The prognosis is poor. A severe decline in kidney function (end-stage kidney disease [ESKD]) occurs in half of people within 4 years. It is not clear whether treatment (with corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants) helps.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy
The most common form of glomerulonephritis in the world is caused by immune complexes (combinations of antigens and antibodies) deposited in the kidneys. Antibodies are proteins made by the body to attack specific molecules called antigens.
Usually the disorder progresses slowly. ESKD develops in about 25% of people after 20 years. The disorder progresses more slowly in children.
This uncommon type of glomerulonephritis occurs primarily between the ages of 8 and 30. The disorder is caused by immune complexes (combinations of antigens and antibodies) attaching to the kidneys, but sometimes why the complexes attach to the kidneys is unknown.
If the cause is known and can be treated (eg, malaria Malaria Malaria is infection of red blood cells with one of five species of the protozoa Plasmodium. Malaria causes fever, chills, sweating, a general feeling of illness (malaise), and sometimes... read more , multiple myeloma Multiple Myeloma Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in which abnormal plasma cells multiply uncontrollably in the bone marrow and occasionally in other parts of the body. People often have bone pain... read more ), a partial remission may occur. The outcome is not as good in people in whom the cause remains unknown. About half of people progress to ESKD within 10 years, and 90% within 20 years.
Primary rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis
This group of disorders causes microscopic damage to the glomeruli and progress rapidly. Sometimes they are caused by an infection or other treatable disorder. Kidney biopsy is required for diagnosis.
The prognosis is poor. At least 80% of people who are not treated develop ESKD within 6 months. The prognosis is better for people younger than 60 years and when an underlying disorder causing the glomerulonephritis responds to treatment.