The IgA nephropathy treatment dilemma

Kidney Int. 2006 Jun;69(11):1939-44. doi: 10.1038/


Although IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common form of primary glomerulonephritis worldwide, our understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease remains limited. IgA nephropathy may appear with a variety of clinical presentations, a number of different clinical and histopathologic risk factors for progressive renal disease, and a very variable course over time. Thus, it is not surprising that a single therapeutic treatment plan has not been established. Many of the studies dealing with IgAN are retrospective, lack statistical significance, or have confounding designs, which hinder their general acceptance. Nevertheless, a number of well-designed studies have been performed. This paper reviews currently available therapeutic options for IgAN. It attempts to address several important questions: Why do we treat patients with IgAN? How do we decide which patients should be treated? What are the general treatment guidelines for all IgAN patients? What is the role of specific therapy such as fish oils, tonsillectomy, and immunosuppression in the treatment of patient with IgAN? It also addresses several on-going trials and goals for future therapeutic studies for IgAN patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / therapy*
  • Humans