...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!
Goodpasture Syndrome is a disease that affects the kidneys and lungs. It usually involves rapidly progressive kidney failure that develops in days to weeks along with lung disease. Some forms of the disease involve just the lung or kidney, not both.
Dark colored urine
Decreased urine output
Cough with bloody sputum
Difficulty breathing after exertion
Nausea and vomiting
It is an autoimmune disorder. This means your body makes antibodies that attack your own body tissues. In this case, antibodies form against a certain type of protein called collagen. The collagen is present in the tiny air sacs in the lungs and in the filtering units of the kidney. These antibodies are called anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies.
Sometimes the disorder is triggered by a viral respiratory infection or by inhaling hydrocarbon solvents. In such cases, the immune system may attack organs or tissues because it mistakes them for these viruses or foreign chemicals.
The antibody attack leads to bleeding in the air sacs, which causes shortness of breath, cough, and bloody sputum. It also causes inflammation in the glomeruli of the kidney, which causes blood in urine, protein in the urine, or kidney failure.
The main goal is to remove the circulating antibodies from the blood. An early diagnosis is very important. The patient's outlook is much worse if the kidneys are already severely damaged when treatment begins.
Plasmapheresis is a procedure where blood plasma is removed from the circulation and replaced by fluid, protein, or donated plasma. This helps to make sure that harmful antibodies are removed.
Anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic agents (such as prednisone or cyclophosphamide) may be needed.
If kidney failure becomes severe, dialysis may be needed to substitute for the kidney's normal functioning.
Kidney transplantation may be performed in patients who suffer irreversible loss of kidney function. The physician would usually wait for the levels of circulating anti-GBM antibodies to drop before proceeding with the transplant.
The outlook varies. Early diagnosis and treatment tend to have better outcomes.