Obesity-related glomerulopathy and the nephron complement

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Nov;28 Suppl 4:iv108-13. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft258. Epub 2013 Jul 17.


Obesity-related glomerulopathy (ORG) is a secondary form of glomerular disease that can occur in individuals with obesity. However, the absolute risk for an obese individual to develop progressive renal deterioration is low. Therefore, obesity alone appears to be insufficient to develop such severe renal injury, and there are likely other factors that contribute to the development of this entity. The glomerular hyperfiltration found in patients with ORG has been postulated to lead to structural abnormalities in glomeruli, such as glomerulomegaly and focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, in a manner analogous to that described in patients with reduced renal mass. In fact, recent studies suggest that a reduction in nephron mass is implicated in patients with ORG and synergistically contributes to the development of this renal complication together with obesity-induced changes in renal hemodynamics.

Keywords: glomerular density; glomerulomegaly; hyperfiltration; nephron number; obesity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / etiology*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Nephrons / pathology*
  • Obesity / complications*