IgA nephropathy, also called Berger’s disease in clinic. It is one type of primary glomerular disease characterized by immune disorder and deposition of immune globulins (mainly IgA and IgA complexes) in glomerular mesangial areas.
Immune complex deposition will activate the complement bypass way and cause damages to renal intrinsic cells and tissues.
The typical symptoms of IgA are recurrent gross or microscopic hematuria, mild to severe proteinuria, high blood pressure and renal dysfunction. There are about 15%-40% patients will progress into chronic kidney failure without effective or timely treatments even though some patients can receive complete remission.
IgA nephropathy can be divided into 5 stages according to the severity of pathological changes and renal damages. When serum creatinine is higher than 1.5mg/dl, there will be rapid illness progression. When GFR falls below 20ml/min, it means that pathological change is severe than stage III.
Besides, there are many factors that can affect the prognosis and progression of IgA nephropathy.
·Various infections especially respiratory tract infection and urinary tract infection are the most elements affecting IgA prognosis.
· Urinary tract obstruction
· Renal toxicity drugs
· Renal hypoperfusion due to serious vomiting, diarrhea, long term over use of diuretics, etc
· Heart failure
· Renal hypertension
When IgA develops into renal failure, patients will have the following symptoms.
1. General ill feeling. Accumulation of wastes and toxin can cause ill feelings such as vomiting, nausea, sleep problem, loss of appetite, skin itching and fatigue.
2. Edema. Some patients can have swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and around the eye, reduced urine output, urinary frequency (especially at night) and shortness of breath, etc.
3. Anemia. Anemia will make patients feel cold and fatigue.
4. Other symptoms include high blood pressure, bubbles in urine, diarrhea, thirsty, sleepiness and poor sleep quality, etc.
In case of the above mentioned symptoms or discomforts, related tests should be done so as to diagnose renal failure as early as possible and prevent progressing into end stage renal failure.
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