1 Center for Liver Disease, Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA.
2 Betty and Guy Beatty Center for Integrated Research, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA.
3 Center for Liver Disease, Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects many organs in the body, including the liver, kidneys, skin, joints and others. Although the hepatic manifestation of HCV has been widely studied, the extrahepatic manifestations of HCV have not been fully appreciated. Studies have shown that patients with HCV have a higher risk of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease, as well as poorer outcomes after kidney transplantation. Given these findings, it is important to screen HCV patients for presence of renal impairment in a timely manner. Current guidelines recommend screening for kidney disease at the time of HCV diagnosis, along with annual urinalysis and creatinine checks. It is important to note that chronic HCV infection has been associated with a number of renal disorders, including cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, membranous nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, IgA nephropathy, fibrillary and immunotactoid glomerulopathies, and hepatorenal syndrome. Of these, while HRS can be reversible post-transplantation, cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis is common and is primarily caused by mixed cryoglobulinemia. These patients may be asymptomatic or may present with hematuria, proteinuria, nephrotic syndrome, or impaired renal function only detected by laboratory data. In this review, we will provide an up-to-date assessment of these renal complications in patients with HCV infection.