The Renal Pathology of Obesity

Kidney Int Rep. 2017 Jan 23;2(2):251-260. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2017.01.007. eCollection 2017 Mar.


Obesity causes various structural, hemodynamic, and metabolic alterations in the kidney. Most of these are likely to be compensatory responses to the systemic increase in metabolic demand that is seen with obesity. In some cases, however, renal injury becomes clinically apparent as a result of compensatory failure. Obesity-related glomerulopathy is the best known of such disease states. Factors that may sensitize obese individuals to renal compensatory failure and associated injury include the severity and number of obesity-associated conditions or complications, including components of metabolic syndrome, and the mismatch of body size to nephron mass, due to nephron reductions of congenital or acquired origin.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease; hyperfiltration; metabolic syndrome; nephron number; obesity; obesity-related glomerulopathy.

Publication types

  • Review