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IgA nephropathy

  • Definition

    Nephropathy refers to damage, disease , or other abnormalities of the kidney. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disorder in which antibodies to a protein called IgA build up in kidney tissue.

    It is also called Berger’s disease.

    Alternative Names

    Nephropathy - IgA; Berger's disease

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    IgA is a protein 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.

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

    The disorder can appear suddenly (acute), or progress 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 persons of all ages, but most often affects males in their teens to late 30s.