How To Say It: ne-frop-a-thee
IgA nephropathy is a kidney disease. It may start with minor changes in the kidneys. Over time it can lead to more serious problems such as kidney failure.
Anatomy of the Kidney
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This problem happens when IgA proteins build up in the kidneys. This hurts the filters in the kidneys that remove waste and excess water.
It may be caused by inherited genes or problems with the immune system.
This problem is more common in Asian people. It is also more common in men. Other things that may raise the risk are:
There are no symptoms in the early stages.
People who do have symptoms may have:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may need to see a doctor who treats kidney diseases.
Blood and urine tests will be done to look for problems with how the kidneys are working.
A kidney biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis. This removes and tests a small sample of the kidney.
The goal of treatment is to limit kidney damage and manage symptoms.
Treatment depends on the cause. The doctor will want to manage other health problems that could hurt the kidneys such as high blood pressure.
Options may be:
There are no known ways to prevent this health problem.
GARD—Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
IgA nephropathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/iga-nephropathy. Accessed December 31, 2020.
IgA nephropathy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/iga-nephropathy. Accessed December 31, 2020.
IgA nephropathy. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/iganeph. Accessed December 31, 2020.
Selvaskandan H., Cheung CK, et al. New strategies and perspectives on managing IgA nephropathy. Clin Exp Nephrol 23, 577–588 (2019).
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 12/31/2020