We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is IgA Nephrology?

By H. Colledge
Updated Feb 26, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

IgA nephrology is actually a common misspelling for the name of the kidney disease IgA nephropathy. Nephrology is a term used to describe the area of medicine concerned with the kidneys, while nephropathy refers to disease affecting the kidneys. As the term IgA nephropathy resembles IgA nephrology quite closely, it is not unknown for people who are actually looking for information on IgA nephropathy to accidentally type phrases such as IgA nephrology treatment and IgA nephrology disease into search engines. IgA nephropathy is also known as synpharyngitic glomerulonephritis, or Berger's disease. The condition involves a substance known as immunoglobulin A, or IgA, accumulating inside parts of the kidney known as glomeruli, a process which can lead to progressive damage and eventual kidney failure.

Glomeruli are minute knots of blood vessels which filter blood during the process of urine formation. IgA nephropathy develops when IgA binds to the mesangial cells which support and surround the glomeruli. In around one third of cases, IgA goes on to trigger a reaction which results in inflammation and scarring of the glomeruli, and progressive kidney damage. Medical treatment can delay progression, but some people will eventually require a kidney transplant.

The symptoms of IgA nephropathy can vary, and some people will not have any noticeable signs of the condition, but microscopic amounts of blood may be present in the urine. This blood may be discovered by chance during a routine urine test. In other cases, blood is easily visible in the urine and typically appears at the same time as a respiratory infection.

Forming part of the immune system, IgA is what is known as an antibody, which normally helps the body fight disease. It is not known why IgA sometimes builds up in the kidneys, or why it causes kidney damage. Diagnosis of IgA nephropathy can be made by measuring levels of IgA in the blood. A sample of kidney tissue may then be taken and examined under a microscope to determine whether IgA is present. Inspection of the sample can also show whether IgA has caused any inflammation of kidney tissue and, if so, to what extent.

IgA nephropathy treatment aims to delay the progression of IgA nephritis and prevent possible complications, such as raised blood pressure. High blood pressure may itself lead to further kidney damage, and it also carries an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Medication can be used to control blood pressure and maintain it within normal limits.

The outlook for someone with IgA nephropathy may be estimated at the time of diagnosis, and around two thirds of people are unlikely to suffer progressive kidney damage. For those who do experience such damage, the course of IgA nephropathy is slow, and it may progress over as long as two or three decades before the kidneys fail. Kidney dialysis and a kidney transplant may then be required.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.