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Alternative namesAnti-glomerular basement membrane antibody disease; Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis with pulmonary hemorrhage; Pulmonary renal syndrome; Glomerulonephritis - pulmonary hemorrhage
DefinitionGoodpasture's syndrome is a form of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis , which involves a progressive decrease in the kidney's ability to function properly, accompanied by a cough with bloody sputum .
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
In Goodpasture's syndrome, antibodies collect in both the kidney glomerulus and the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, causing both glomerulonephritis and bleeding in the lungs.
There is an inherited predisposition for Goodpasture's syndrome and researchers believe that the gene or genes involved affect the way the immune system reacts to certain invaders, increasing the likelihood mistaken identity in the lungs and kidneys.
Signs and tests
While listening with a stethoscope during a physical examination, the doctor may notice signs of fluid buildup due to bleeding in the lungs. Blood pressure may be high. The body may develop swelling as kidney function deteriorates. A skin rash may be observed in some cases.
Treatment is focused on slowing progression of the disease. It is most effective when begun early, before kidney function has deteriorated to the point of requiring dialysis .
Corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory agents may be used to reduce the immune response , with variable results. Other immune suppressants, such as cyclophosphamide, are used aggressively to try to stop the attacks by immune cells on the kidneys and lungs.
Expectations (prognosis)The outcome varies. Early diagnosis and treatment tend to lead to better a outcome.
Calling your health care providerCall for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms suggestive of Goodpasture's syndrome occur.
Call your health care provider if the amount of urine you produce drops.
PreventionAvoid glue sniffing and siphoning gasoline , which expose the lungs to hydrocarbon solvents and can cause the disease in some cases. Early diagnosis and treatment may slow the progression of the disorder.
Update Date: 2/9/2003Andrew Koren, M.D., Department of Nephrology, NYU-Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT