Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis is a kidney disorder that involves inflammation and changes to kidney cells. It may lead to kidney problems.
Membranoproliferative GN I; Membranoproliferative GN II; Mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis; Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis; Lobular GN; Glomerulonephritis - membranoproliferative; MPGN type I; MPGN type II
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the glomeruli. These structures of the kidney help filter wastes and fluids from the blood to form urine.
Membranoproliferative GN is a form of glomerulonephritis 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 wastes and extra fluid from the blood.
Damage to this membrane affects the body's ability to create urine normally. It may allow blood and protein to leak into the urine. Fluid may leak out of the blood vessels into body tissues, leading to swelling (edema). Nitrogen waste products may also build up in the blood (azotemia).
There are two forms of membranoproliferative GN:
Membranoproliferative GN I
Membranoproliferative GN II
Most people with the disease have type I. Membranoproliferative GN II is much less common. It also tends to get worse faster than membranoproliferative GN I.
Many cases of membranoproliferative GN are due to causes such as:
The results of a physical examination depend on the symptoms. There may be swelling (usually in the legs), along with other 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 increased production of renin, a hormone that controls blood pressure.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Herbert Y Lin, MD, PhD, Nephrologist, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.