Conservative management, immunosuppressive treatment or both for patients with primary immunoglobulin A nephropathy?
- Dimitrios S. Goumenos
Department of Nephrology - University Hospital of Patras, . email@example.com
Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is the most commonly encountered primary glomerulonephritis and it usually follows an indolent clinical course. However, hypertensive patients with proteinuria and renal insufficiency at presentation and patients with severe histological involvement are at high risk to develop end-stage renal failure. Patients with normal renal function, mild proteinuria (<1 g/24h) and mild histopathological involvement need only observation, whereas patients with heavy proteinuria, impaired renal function and moderate to severe histopathological involvement are usually treated with immunosuppressive drugs. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used in patients with arterial hypertension and/or proteinuria 1-2 g/24h. Corticosteroids are indicated in patients with heavy proteinuria (>3 g/24h) and in progressive disease despite treatment with ACE inhibitors. Combinations of corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs are saved for patients with IgA nephropathy and a rapidly progressive course. Fish oil might be an alternative to corticosteroids in cases with renal insufficiency and chronic histological lesions.