In a majority of cases of membranous nephropathy, evidence of autoimmune activity can be found. Your body's immune system mistakes some of your own tissues as foreign and attacks them with autoantibodies. These autoantibodies can damage your kidney's filtering systems (glomeruli).
Sometimes membranous nephropathy is brought on by other causes, notably:
- Autoimmune disease, such as lupus erythematosus
- Infection with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or syphilis
- Certain medications, such as gold salts and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Solid cancerous tumors or blood cancers
Membranous nephropathy may also occur along with other kidney diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy and rapidly progressive (crescentic) glomerulonephritis.
Oct. 21, 2014
- Gilbert SJ, et al. National Kidney Foundation's Primer on Kidney Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA.: Elsevier/Saunders; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
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- Beck LH, et al. Causes and diagnosis of membranous nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
- Nephrotic syndrome in adults. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/nephrotic/. Accessed Aug. 28, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2014.
- Herrmann SMS, et al. Membranous nephropathy: The start of a paradigm shift. Current opinion in nephrology and hypertension. 2012;21:203.
- Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr.cfm. Accessed Sept. 3, 2014.
- Hogan J, et al. Diagnostic tests and treatment options in glomerular disease: 2014 update. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2014;63:656.
- Hofstra JM, et al. Treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2013;9:443.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 20, 2014.
- Fervenza FC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 6, 2014.
- Anti-PLA2R assay guidance. The Renal Association. http://rarerenal.org/clinician-information/membranous-nephropathy-clinician-information/anti-pla2r-assay-guidance/. Accessed Sept. 15, 2014.
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