Learn About Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis

What is the definition of Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis is a kidney disorder that involves inflammation and changes to kidney cells. It may lead to kidney failure.

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What are the alternative names for Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Membranoproliferative GN I; Membranoproliferative GN II; Mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis; Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis; Lobular GN; Glomerulonephritis - membranoproliferative; MPGN type I; MPGN type II

What are the causes of Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli. The glomeruli of the kidney help filter wastes and fluids from the blood to form urine.

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.

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).

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)
  • Cancer (leukemia, lymphoma)
  • Infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, endocarditis, malaria)
What are the symptoms of Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Changes in mental status such as decreased alertness or decreased concentration
  • Cloudy urine
  • Dark urine (smoke, cola, or tea colored)
  • Decrease in urine volume
  • Swelling of any part of the body
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What are the current treatments for Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

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
  • Diuretics
  • Medicines to suppress the immune system, such as cyclophosphamide
  • Steroids

Treatment is more effective in children than in adults. Dialysis or kidney transplant may eventually be needed to manage kidney failure.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

The disorder often slowly gets worse and eventually results in chronic kidney failure.

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.

What are the possible complications of Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Complications that may result from this disease include:

  • Acute nephritic syndrome
  • Acute renal failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
When should I contact a medical professional for Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

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
How do I prevent Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?

Preventing infections such as hepatitis or managing diseases such as lupus may help prevent MPGN.

Kidney anatomy
What are the latest Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis Clinical Trials?
Prospective Observation of Bortezomib in the Treatment of Glomerular Diseases
Summary: Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor that inhibits autoantibody production, and reduces podocyte damage and mesangial hyperplasia caused by NF-κB activation in the kidney. Literature has reported that bortezomib can achieve a complete response rate of up to 38% in the treatment of glomerular diseases, but its safety and effectiveness remain to be assessed for the Chinese demographic. This study at...
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Phase 2, Multicenter, Randomized, Open-label, Controlled, 2-arm Cross-over Study to Evaluate the Clinical Efficacy of a Renin Inhibitor, Aliskiren, Compared to an Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitor, Enalapril, in C3 Glomerulopathy
Summary: The aim of this cross-over trial is to assess aliskiren, a direct renin inhibitor, as a novel treatment to block complement activation in the kidneys and thereby attenuate renal disease and stabilize or improve kidney function and compare it to the currently used treatment with the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, enalapril, in patients with the complement-mediated renal disease C3 glomeru...
What are the Latest Advances for Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis?
Treatment with bortezomib for recurrent proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits in kidney allograft. Case report and review of the literature.
Summary: Treatment with bortezomib for recurrent proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits in kidney allograft. Case report and review of the literature.
Histological patterns of renal diseases in children: A 12-year experience from a single Tertiary Care Center in North-East India.
Summary: Histological patterns of renal diseases in children: A 12-year experience from a single Tertiary Care Center in North-East India.
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Chronic catheter-related bacteremia of Pseudomonas stutzeri etiology as the cause of membranous-proliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) - a case report.
Summary: Chronic catheter-related bacteremia of Pseudomonas stutzeri etiology as the cause of membranous-proliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) - a case report.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: July 27, 2021
Published By: 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.

What are the references for this article ?

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.