• Clinical science

Alport syndrome

Summary

Alport syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by glomerulonephritis, often in combination with sensorineural hearing loss and sometimes eye abnormalities. It is caused by a genetic defect of type IV collagen, which is usually inherited in an X-linked pattern and therefore mostly affects boys. Patients typically present with intermittent gross hematuria during infancy. In adolescence, patients classically start to develop more serious signs of chronic kidney disease (e.g., proteinuria), and may experience hearing loss or, in rare cases, vision problems. In milder forms, patients may remain asymptomatic and only require monitoring. In classic Alport syndrome, diagnostic evaluation shows persistent microhematuria on urinalysis and splitting of the glomerular basement membrane on kidney biopsy. The classic form usually leads to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) between the second and third decade of life, and the only definitive treatment is a kidney transplant.

Epidemiology

  • Rare disorder [1]
  • The most common hereditary nephritis

Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.

Etiology

Pathophysiology

Clinical features

Patients with Alport syndrome can't pee, can't see, can't hear a bee.

Diagnostics

Treatment

  • 1. Watson S, Padala SA, Bush JS. Alport Syndrome. StatPearls. 2020. pmid: 29262041.
  • 2. Savige J, Colville D, Rheault M, et al. Alport Syndrome in Women and Girls. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016; 11(9): pp. 1713–20. doi: 10.2215/CJN.00580116.
  • 3. Brainwood D, Kashtan C, Gubler MC, Turner AN. Targets of alloantibodies in Alport anti-glomerular basement membrane disease after renal transplantation. Kidney Int. 1998; 53(3): pp. 762–6. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.1998.00794.x.
last updated 10/30/2020
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