Membranous nephropathy (MEM-bruh-nus nuh-FROP-uh-thee) occurs when the small blood vessels in the kidney (glomeruli), which filter wastes from the blood, become inflamed and thickened. As a result, proteins leak from the damaged blood vessels into the urine (proteinuria). For many, loss of these proteins eventually causes signs and symptoms known as nephrotic syndrome.
In mild cases, membranous nephropathy may get better on its own, without any treatment. As protein leakage increases, so does the risk of long-term kidney damage. In many, the disease ultimately leads to kidney failure. There's no absolute cure for membranous nephropathy, but successful treatment can lead to remission of proteinuria and a good long-term outlook.
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.
- Cattran DC. Treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 14, 2014.
- 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.