1Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY.
2Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are prevalent worldwide. In this review, we discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and treatment of HBV- and HCV-related glomerulonephritis (GN). The most common histopathologic presentation of HBV-GN is HBV-associated membranous nephropathy, which usually manifests clinically with varying grades of proteinuria and microscopic hematuria. The pathogenesis is likely to be immune complex mediated; however, other host and viral factors have been implicated. The treatment of HBV-GN revolves around antiviral therapy. Various histologic types of glomerular diseases are reported in association with HCV infection, the most frequent being Type 1 membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, usually in the context of Type 2 mixed cryoglobulinemia. The pathogenesis of HCV-GN can be attributed to glomerular deposition of cryoglobulins or noncryoglobulin-immune complexes. Cryoglobulins typically comprised immunoglobulin Mκ with rheumatoid factor activity. Clinically, patients may present with proteinuria, microscopic hematuria, hypertension, and acute nephritic and/or nephrotic syndrome. The treatment of HCV-GN, especially cryoglobulinemic membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, encompasses various options including contemporary antiviral therapy with or without conventional and novel immunomodulatory agents.