Understanding Hematuria: IgA Nephropathy

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There is no known way to stop IgA deposition in the mesangium. Tonsillectomy to reduce mucosal IgA release has been suggested but is controversial.

Treatment of IgA nephropathy focuses on preserving renal function by reducing proteinuria through the use of ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers. Aggressive blood pressure management is achieved by blocking the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS).

Other methods for decreasing progression of renal disease are directed at reducing the immune and inflammatory response via immunosuppressant medications. 3 The use of immunosuppressive agents, though controversial, is recommended for those who have progressive disease and/or proteinuria despite achieving target blood pressure with full RAAS blockade. 1

Amy L. Hazel, RN, MSN, CNP
Kidney & Hypertension Consultants, Canton, Ohio

1. Greenberg A. Primer on Kidney Diseases . 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2005.
2. Barratt J, Feehally J. IgA nephropathy [disease of the month]. J Am Soc Nephrol . 2005;16(7): 2088-2097.
3. Barratt J, Feehally J. Treatment of IgA nephropathy. Kidney Int . 2006;69(11):1934-1938.
4. Johnson R, Feehally J. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology . 2nd ed. London: Mosby; 2000.
5. Walsh M, Sar A, Lee D, et al. Histopathologic features aid in predicting risk for progression of IgA nephropathy. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol . 2010; 5(3):425-430.
6. Roberts I. The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy: pathology definitions, correlations, and reproducibility. Kidney Int . 2009; 76(5):546-556.

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