IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a common cause of kidney disease worldwide.It is typically first suspected in children or young adults who have an episode (or recurrent episodes) of visible blood in the urine or have microscopic blood and protein in the urine detected on routine examination. The diagnosis is confirmed with a kidney biopsy.
Up to 40% of affected individuals develop kidney failure and require dialysis or transplantation. Compounding the problem, IgAN commonly recurs in the donated kidney after transplantation.
Several drugs currently in use may slow the rate at which kidney failure develops. However, there is no reliable therapy to stop or reverse the kidney injury.