Beyond hepatorenal syndrome: glomerulonephritis in patients with liver disease

Semin Nephrol. 2002 Jul;22(4):302-8.


Liver disease is frequently associated with renal abnormalities. In liver cirrhosis, impaired hepatic clearance of immune complexes leads to their trapping in the kidney, causing the lesions of hepatic immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy and hepatic glomerulosclerosis. Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can induce cryoglobulinemia type II with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, whereas chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection may cause membranous nephropathy, or, more rarely, polyarteritis nodosa. Treatment aims at eliminating the viral infection, in HCV infection with interferon alfa and ribavirin and in HBV infection with interferon alfa or lamivudine. Short-term immunosuppressive treatment may be indicated in patients with severe inflammation. In alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency with liver disease a membranoproliferative type of glomerulonephritis can occur. In addition, partial or complete deficiency is frequently observed in patients with c-ANCA-positive systemic vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glomerulonephritis / etiology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy
  • Glomerulonephritis / virology
  • Hepatitis B / complications*
  • Hepatitis B / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Transplantation
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / complications*
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / therapy