What are the Causes of Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis?
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis can be primary (idiopathic) in nature.
Alternatively, it can be secondary to a wide variety of medical conditions including infections (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and bacterial endocarditis), autoimmune diseases (e.g., SLE), chronic liver disease (e.g., α1-antitrypsin deficiency), malignancies, lymphoproliferative disorders, plasma cell dyscrasias leading to monoclonal gammopathy, and essential cryoglobulinemia.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis has been associated rarely with Lyme disease, autoimmune thyroiditis, and type I diabetes mellitus.
Some newer medications have been linked to type I MPGN, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
Because MPGN is a rare condition that requires a kidney biopsy for diagnosis, there is no systematic information about the relative incidence of primary versus secondary MPGN.
Postinfectious glomerulonephritis and MPGN likely represent a spectrum of the same disease.
They share common histopathologic features. Long-term follow-up and detailed assessment of the alternative pathway of complement are required to distinguish these two entities.
Type II MPGN has been linked to genetic mutations in proteins involved in the regulation of the alternative pathway of complement.
These include alterations in factor H, factor H–related proteins, and complement receptor 1.