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      Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis

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          Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis is an uncommon kidney disorder characterized by mesangial cell proliferation and structural changes in glomerular capillary walls. It can be subdivided into idiopathic and secondary forms, which are differentially diagnosed by a review of clinical features, laboratory data, and renal histopathology. Three types—I, II, and III—have been defined by pathologic features. All three types are associated with hypocomplementemia, but they manifest somewhat different mechanisms of complement activation. Type II, also known as “dense deposit disease”, is associated with the presence of C3-nephritic factor. Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis primarily affects children and young adults, with patients presenting with nephrotic or nephritic syndrome or with asymptomatic renal disease. This type of glomerulonephritis often progresses slowly to end-stage renal disease, and it tends to recur after renal transplantation, especially type II. The efficacy of various forms of treatment remains controversial; however, long-term steroid treatment seems to be effective in children with nephrotic-range proteinuria. Improvement in renal outcomes largely relies on the evaluation of more selective agents in carefully controlled studies.

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          Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (dense deposit disease): an update.

          Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (MPGN II) is a rare disease characterized by the deposition of abnormal electron-dense material within the glomerular basement membrane of the kidney and often within Bruch's membrane in the eye. The diagnosis is made in most patients between the ages of 5 and 15 yr, and within 10 yr, approximately half progress to end-stage renal disease, occasionally with the late comorbidity of visual impairment. The pathophysiologic basis of MPGN II is associated with the uncontrolled systemic activation of the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement cascade. In most patients, loss of complement regulation is caused by C3 nephritic factor, an autoantibody directed against the C3 convertase of the AP, but in some patients, mutations in the factor H gene have been identified. For the latter patients, plasma replacement therapy prevents renal failure, but for the majority of patients, there is no proven effective treatment. The disease recurs in virtually all renal allografts, and a high percentage of these ultimately fail. The development of molecular diagnostic tools and new therapies directed at controlling the AP of the complement cascade either locally in the kidney or at the systemic level may lead to effective treatments for MPGN II.
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            New approaches to the treatment of dense deposit disease.

            The development of clinical treatment protocols usually relies on evidence-based guidelines that focus on randomized, controlled trials. For rare renal diseases, such stringent requirements can represent a significant challenge. Dense deposit disease (DDD; also known as membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II) is a prototypical rare disease. It affects only two to three people per million and leads to renal failure within 10 yr in 50% of affected children. On the basis of pathophysiology, this article presents a diagnostic and treatment algorithm for patients with DDD. Diagnostic tests should assess the alternative pathway of complement for abnormalities. Treatment options include aggressive BP control and reduction of proteinuria, and on the basis of pathophysiology, animal data, and human studies, plasma infusion or exchange, rituximab, sulodexide, and eculizumab are additional options. Criteria for treatment success should be prevention of progression as determined by maintenance or improvement in renal function. A secondary criterion should be normalization of activity levels of the alternative complement pathway as measured by C3/C3d ratios and C3NeF levels. Outcomes should be reported to a central repository that is now accessible to all clinicians. As the understanding of DDD increases, novel therapies should be integrated into existing protocols for DDD and evaluated using an open-label Bayesian study design.
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              The nephrotic syndrome.

               E. Ritz,  S Orth (1998)

                Author and article information

                +44-1223-217259 , +44-1223-686196 ,
                Pediatr Nephrol
                Pediatric Nephrology (Berlin, Germany)
                Springer-Verlag (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                12 November 2009
                12 November 2009
                August 2010
                : 25
                : 8
                : 1409-1418
                Renal Unit, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Box 118, Hills road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ UK
                © IPNA 2009
                Educational Review
                Custom metadata
                © IPNA 2010


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