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Membranoproliferative GN I

Contents of this page:


Kidney anatomy
Kidney anatomy

Alternative Names    Return to top

Mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis (type I); Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (type I); Lobular GN; Glomerulonephritis - membranoproliferative (type I); MPGN type I

Definition    Return to top

Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type I is a kidney disorder that results in disrupted kidney function, caused by inflammation and changes in the microscopic structure of kidney cells.

See also: Membranoproliferative GN II

Causes    Return to top

Glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the glomeruli, the inner structures of the kidney that help filter waste and fluids from the blood to form urine.

Membranoproliferative GN I is a form of glomerulonephritis. It is caused by an abnormal immune response. Deposits of antibodies build up in a part of the kidneys called the glomerular basement membrane. This membrane helps filter waste and extra fluid from the blood.

The changes in this membrane lead disrupt the body's ability to filter urine. Protein and fluid leak out of the blood vessels into body tissues, leading to edema. Nitrogen waste products may accumulate in the blood (azotemia) because of poor kidney functioning.

The disorder is often progressive and eventually results in chronic renal failure.

Most cases of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis are type I. The conditions affects both men and women, mostly people under age 30.

Symptoms    Return to top

Exams and Tests    Return to top

The results of a physical examination vary depending on the symptoms. Swelling may be present along with signs of fluid overload, such as abnormal sounds when listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope.

Blood pressure is often high because of increased water and sodium (salt) retention and and increased production of renin, a hormone that controls blood pressure.

Membranoproliferative GN I may present in several forms. It may be seen as acute nephritic syndrome, nephrotic syndrome, or an abnormal urinalysis without symptoms.

These tests help confirm the diagnosis:

A kidney biopsy confirms the diagnosis of membranoproliferative GN I.

Treatment    Return to top

Treatment may vary according to the symptoms. The goals of treatment are to reduce syjmptoms, prevent complications, and slow the progression of the disorder.

Medicines that may be prescribed include

A change in diet may be needed. This may include limiting salt, fluids, or protein.

Dialysis or kidney transplant may eventually be required to manage kidney failure.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

The disorder progresses slowly to chronic renal failure. Fifty percent of cases will develop chronic renal failure within 10 years.

Possible Complications    Return to top

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms indicate MPGN I may be present.

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms worsen or persist, or if new symptoms develop, including decreased urine output.

Prevention    Return to top

Prevention is often not possible.

Update Date: 8/14/2007

Updated by: Charles Silberberg, DO, Private Practice specializing in Nephrology, Affiliated with New York Medical College, Division of Nephrology, Valhalla, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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