HLA associations in heroin-associated nephropathy

Am J Kidney Dis. 1988 Jul;12(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(88)80071-4.


Heroin-associated nephropathy (HAN) occurs almost exclusively in black heroin abusers, suggesting a genetic link to the disease. To further study this possibility, the frequencies of HLA-A, B, C, and DR antigens were determined in a group of 47 black patients with HAN. Included in the analyses is a subgroup of 16 patients with biopsy-proven focal glomerulosclerosis. Patient frequencies were compared with three separate control populations, the first a normal black population from New York City, the second from a national registry, and the third a group of blacks with idiopathic focal glomerulosclerosis. Only the frequency of HLA-BW53 was consistently increased significantly in the patients as compared with the control groups. This finding supports the notion that a genetic predisposition may exist in the addicted population for the development of renal disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / etiology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / genetics
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-B Antigens*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Heroin Dependence / complications*
  • Heroin Dependence / ethnology
  • Heroin Dependence / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B53 antigen
  • HLA-DR Antigens