C3 Glomerulopathy (C3G)


Overview of C3G:

C3G stands for complement 3 glomerulopathy, a very rare and chronic disease that causes the kidneys to not work properly. The C3 refers to a key blood protein that plays an important role in your immune system. The G stands for glomerulopathy or damage to the filtering units of the kidney. Physician experts believe that when complement proteins like C3, which are part of your immune system, are not well controlled, it results in damage to the kidneys’ filtering units (glomeruli).

What is the “Complete System”?

It is a group of proteins that help, or complement, your immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. If the complement system becomes overactive, the C3 complement proteins are broken down and trapped in the kidneys. The trapped C3 causes a series of reactions that damage your glomeruli (filtering units in the kidney).


High levels of protein in urine (proteinuria)

Blood in urine (hematuria)

Low levels of protein in the blood

Swelling in many areas of the body

Dark and/or foamy urine

High blood pressure (Hypertension)

Decreased urine output

Elevated creatinine in the blood

Fast Facts

Children with C3G tend to be more responsive to treatment than adults

Genetic changes or the development of abnormal antibodies in your immune system are the most common causes of C3G

C3G affects 2-3 per 1 million people

Steroids and other immunosuppressive therapies can be effective in C3G

C3G affects people of all ages

Treating Your Disease

Short-Term Goals

The short-term goal of treatment is to stop protein spillage completely (remission) or lower the amount of protein lost in the urine as much as possible.

Long-Term Goals

The long-term Goals of treatment include preventing relapses of protein in the urine and preventing the deterioration of kidney function.

There are currently no FDA-approved treatment options for C3G. Standard first-line treatments for C3G are blood pressure medications, like lisinopril and ibesartan, and immunosuppressants, like steroids and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF or Cellcept).

How to Live With Your Disease


Following a low fat, low sodium diet will help improve your kidneys’ function and your C3G symptoms.


Finding a nephrologist that specializes in C3G is very important to your long-term health.


Learn about your disease, treatment options, and clinical trials in order to better advocate for yourself.


NephCure Kidney International can help you connect with other patients and find support to manage your disease.


Get help coping with the challenges of living with FSGS through support groups like NephCure. Learn more about our how we can support you.


Eat a diet low in salt and processed foods to manage your blood pressure and reduce strain on your kidneys. Learn more about a kidney-friendly diet and get our cookbook.

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