Membranous nephropathy: thinking through the therapeutic options

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2017 Jan 1;32(suppl_1):i22-i29. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfw404.


Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) remains the most common cause of the nephrotic syndrome in adults and one of the leading identifiable causes of end-stage kidney disease. Prior to considering the best approach to treatment, three important components need to be considered. First, the natural history of the typical membranous patient today; second, the importance of identifying the causative factors; and third, the integration of the current data on the known autoantibody/antigen systems involved in IMN into the diagnosis and management of the patient. Combining this with information on the known indicators associated with a poor prognosis plus new data on surrogate markers that provide important clues that the treatment plan is correct has provided us with a more secure platform for choosing the right treatment for each patient. This already provides a more rational and precise approach to the use of our current therapeutic options. Even today, we can slow disease progression and in the future new approaches and new therapies are likely to lead to prevention of progression or even reversal of the injury in IMN, thereby leading to improved quality of life of our patients.

Keywords: glomerulonephritis; membranous nephropathy; nephrotic syndrome; proteinuria; therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / diagnosis*
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / metabolism
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / therapy*
  • Humans


  • Biomarkers