IgA nephropathy is often detected after you notice blood in your urine or when a routine test shows you have protein or blood in your urine. These could be signs of several types of kidney diseases. A number of tests can be performed to identify your problem:
- Renal function testing. Blood tests and 24-hour urine collection are needed to assess your kidney function. Your doctor may also recommend an iothalamate clearance test, which uses a special contrast agent to track how well your kidneys are filtering wastes. Mayo Clinic is one of the few centers to specialize in iothalamate clearance testing in the dedicated renal pathology laboratory.
- Kidney biopsy. Taking a sample of kidney tissue (biopsy) is the most accurate test to confirm the diagnosis of IgA nephropathy. It can also help determine the severity of the disease. Because of the large number of people they see for kidney diseases, Mayo Clinic nephrologists and radiologists are expert at performing kidney biopsies and have an outstanding safety record with low levels of complications. Mayo Clinic pathologists are expert at analyzing kidney tissue.
- Kidney imaging. Ultrasound or X-rays also may be used to evaluate the shape or size of your kidneys. A cystoscopy exam can rule out other causes of bleeding in the urinary tract.
Read more about kidney biopsy and cystoscopy.