Children's Hospital Colorado

Immunoglobulin A (IgA) Nephropathy

What is IgA nephropathy?

Inflammation of the kidney filters is called glomerulonephritis, and it is often this group of kidney diseases that causes blood in the urine (hematuria). Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy is another disease of the kidney filters that can cause hematuria, but because it is not a "nephritis," it is called "nephropathy," simply meaning something is wrong with the kidney.

What causes IgA nephropathy?

Because the kidneys filter, or clean, your blood all the time, when they aren't functioning properly, blood can leak into the urine. When determining the cause of blood in the urine, your child's doctor looks for many things like infection or injury of the kidney or urinary tract. The urinary tract is the whole system that drains urine, including the tubes (ureters) from the kidneys, the bladder and the outlet (urethra) from the bladder. If there is something wrong with the urinary tract, your child may need to see a pediatric urologist (kidney surgeon) instead of a pediatric nephrologist (medical specialist for the kidney).

No one knows why IgA nephropathy happens, but it can happen more than once and for years. The frequency and duration of the condition does not indicate much about the eventual outcome, and 85% of cases result in no long term kidney damage, with kidney function remaining normal all the while. As a result, direct treatment of the kidneys is not needed. In the majority of cases, the episodes of bloody urine will stop eventually.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Danielle Soranno, MD

Danielle Soranno, MD

Nephrology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Elisha McGuire, MSN, RN

Elisha McGuire, MSN, RN

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Bradley Dixon, MD

Bradley Dixon, MD

Nephrology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Krista Ray, FNP

Krista Ray, FNP

Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?