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What is Goodpasture’s syndrome

Goodpasture’s syndrome is a pulmonary-renal syndrome, which is a group of acute illnesses involving the kidneys and lungs. Goodpasture syndrome includes all of the following conditions:

  • Glomerulonephritis – inflammation of the glomeruli, which are tiny clusters of looping blood vessels in the kidneys that help filter wastes and extra water from     the blood.
  • The presence of anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibodies; the GBM is part of the glomeruli and is composed of collagen and other proteins.
  • Bleeding in the lungs

Goodpasture syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and kidneys and is characterized by pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs) and a kidney disease known as glomerulonephritis. Some use the term “Goodpasture syndrome” for the findings of glomerulonephritis and pulmonary hemorrhage and the term “Goodpasture disease” for those patients with glomerulonephritis, pulmonary hemorrhage, and anti-GBM antibodies.[1][2] Currently, the preferred term for both conditions is “anti-GBM antibody disease”.[3] Circulating antibodies are directed against the collagen of the part of the kidney known as the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), resulting in acute or rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. Antibodies also attack the collagen of the air sacs of the lung (alveoli) resulting in bleeding of the lung (pulmonary hemorrhage). Symptoms may include general body discomfort or pain, bleeding from the nose and/or blood in the urine, respiratory problems, anemia, chest pain, and kidney failure. Anti-GBM disease is thought to result from an environmental insult (smoking, infections, exposure to certain drugs) in a person with genetic susceptibility, such as a specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type. Diagnosis is confirmed with the presence of anti-GBM antibody in the blood or in the kidney. The treatment of choice is plasmapheresis in conjunction with prednisone and cyclophosphamide.[1][2][3][4]

This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).

Related Autoimmune Patient Groups

National Kidney Foundation
National Kidney Foundation

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