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Membranous Nephropathy: Cause, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Treatment

Membranous nephropathy, also known as Nephrotic Syndrome, is very complex kidney disease that easily relapses. Read on and find an overview of membranous nephropathy: cause, symptoms, risk factors, treatment.

Membranous nephropathy

Membranous Nephropathy (MN) describes a kidney disorder that results in the inflammation and thickening of glomeruli (the small blood vessels in the kidneys accounting for filtering wastes and fluids). It is one of the most common causes of Nephrotic Syndrome.


As I just mentioned, the disease is caused by thickening of part of glomerular basement membrane, but exact reason for thickening is unknown. To be more specific, the thickening is triggered by large amount of immune complexes deposition. The Membranous Nephropathy, to put it another way, is one of the immune diseases and of course, could be treated with Immunotherapy (know about how, click here).

Risk factors

- It occurs commonly in people around 40 years old

- Infections could become the culprit of Membranous Nephropathy

- Autoimmune diseases, for example, SLE, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders

- Nephrotoxic toxins, including certain drugs and heavy metals


Due to the damages occur in the part of glomerular basement membrane leading to the parts fail to function normally or properly. Therefore, large amount of protein leakage shows up and becomes one of the first signs of MN.

Blood in urine which can be seen by naked eyes, this is the very first symptom for 80% of pediatric patients with IgA Nephropathy. Other symptoms are swelling, fatigue, foamy or bubble urine (due to the protein leakage), blood in urine, poor appetite, frequent urination at night and weight gaining etc.


The disease, sometimes, can be recovered all by itself. Other two results are persistent proteinuria with stable kidney function and persistent albuminuria with decreased kidney function.

Treatments for the disease mainly focus on reducing the symptoms and slow its progression of the disease. Immunosuppressants are normally used to treat MN when the patients experience massive albuminuria and progressive reduced kidney function, while the immunosuppressive agents won’t be adopted as no kidney function lost.

- Consume low-protein foods. The protein consumption should be limited under 0.8g/(kg·d) per day. Enough calorie should be supplemented and ensure the total calories: 146.54 kJ(35 kcal)/(kg·d).

- Adopt the anti-coagulation treatment. This is because the high incidence rate of venous thrombosis. Plus, coagulation function should be closely monitored.

- Taking ACEI or ARB to keep the blood pressure under 125/70 mmHg.

Other medicines or treatments focus on treating swelling and hyperlipemia etc.

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  • Tag: Nephrotic Syndrome
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