Blood test could spot autoimmune kidney attack

Membranous nephropathy is an inflammatory disease of the kidney that affects how well the kidney filters toxins from the blood, and can only be diagnosed with a biopsy. This is an autoimmune disorder, where the body produces antibodies that attack itself. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) are developing a test to spot these antibodies, which target PLA2R (phospholipase A2 receptor). Though membranous nephropathy is rare, about a third of people with the condition will eventually need dialysis. The treatment involves powerful immunosuppressants, and the blood test could help with diagnosis, as well as monitoring the progress of the often toxic treatment. Press release

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