Thin basement membrane nephropathy

Last updated: February 1, 2022

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Thin basement membrane nephropathy is a primary glomerulonephritis caused by abnormalities of type IV collagen and thinning of the glomerular basement membrane. Patients typically present with episodes of intermittent gross hematuria and flank pain, often triggered by upper respiratory tract (URT) infections or exercise. Urinalysis shows persistent microhematuria and sometimes proteinuria. Kidney biopsy is required for diagnosis, showing diffuse thinning of the glomerular basement membrane. While the disease generally has an excellent prognosis and often does not require treatment, patients with proteinuria should be treated with ACE inhibitors to slow progression.

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Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.

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Pathophysiologytoggle arrow icon

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Diagnosticstoggle arrow icon

Diagnosis is typically based on clinical presentation and a family history of benign hematuria. Renal biopsy is reserved for patients with signs of progressive disease (e.g., proteinuria, hyperkalemia) and unclear family history.

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Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. Dische FE, Anderson VE, Keane SJ, Taube D, Bewick M, Parsons V. Incidence of thin membrane nephropathy: morphometric investigation of a population sample.. J Clin Pathol. 1990; 43 (6): p.457-60.doi: 10.1136/jcp.43.6.457 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Tryggvason K, Patrakka J. Thin Basement Membrane Nephropathy. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2006; 17 (3): p.813-822.doi: 10.1681/asn.2005070737 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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