Infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are prevalent worldwide. In this review, we discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of HBV- and HCV-related glomerulonephritis (GN). The most common histopathologic presentation of HBV-GN is HBV-associated membranous nephropathy, which usually manifests clinically with varying grades of proteinuria and microscopic hematuria. The pathogenesis is likely to be immune complex mediated; however, other host and viral factors have been implicated. The treatment of HBV-GN revolves around antiviral therapy. Various histologic types of glomerular diseases are reported in association with HCV infection, the most frequent being Type 1 membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, usually in the context of Type 2 mixed cryoglobulinemia. The pathogenesis of HCV-GN can be attributed to glomerular deposition of cryoglobulins or noncryoglobulin-immune complexes. Cryoglobulins typically comprised immunoglobulin Mκ with rheumatoid factor activity. Clinically, patients may present with proteinuria, microscopic hematuria, hypertension, and acute nephritic and/or nephrotic syndrome. The treatment of HCV-GN, especially cryoglobulinemic membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, encompasses various options including contemporary antiviral therapy with or without conventional and novel immunomodulatory agents.
Keywords: Cryoglobulinemia; Glomerulonephritis; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C.
Copyright © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.