What is C1q Nephropathy?
C1q Nephropathy is one of the many diseases causing Nephrotic Syndrome. C1q is a normal protein of the immune system and is found throughout the circulatory system. In an individual with C1q Nephropathy the protein is also found deposited in the the kidneys.
How is C1q Diagnosed?
C1q Nephropathy has only recently been discovered with the help of specialized electron microscopy and immunofluorescence microscopy that has “stains” specific for the C1q protein deposits. Therefore, a kidney biopsy is required to diagnose C1q Nephropathy.
What are the Symptoms of C1q Nephropathy?
Symptoms of C1q Nephropathy may include:
Proteinuria – Large amounts of protein “spilling” into the urine
Edema – Swelling in parts of the body, most noticeable around the eyes, hands and feet, and abdomen.
Low Blood Albumin Levels
High Cholesterol in some cases
High Blood Pressure in some cases
Tendancy to form Blood Clots if spilling large amounts of protein
Kidney Failure in only some cases
Who gets C1q Nephropathy?
It is not yet known why C1q Nephropathy develops, or why some people deposit C1q in their kidneys. It is thought that deposited C1q protein activates the immune system within the kidney, resulting in an immune response and inflammation that can eventually cause kidney damage. It is more commonly found in children, but as doctors are becoming more aware of what to look for, they are finding more cases in early adulthood and middle-aged patients.
How is C1q Nephropathy Treated?
C1q Nephropathy is generally treated in the same manner as Nephrotic Syndrome. It is important to see a kidney specialist on a regular basis to monitor kidney function, degree of proteinuria, cholesterol and blood pressure. The most common drug used to treat C1q Nephropathy are steroids. Many different types of immunosuppressants, or drugs that suppress the immune system, can also be considered.
If remission is not obtained, it is important to be on a medication that reduces the amount of protein in the urine. These medications are called ACE-inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) and ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers).
Your nephrologist may also recommend:
- Diuretics to help eliminate excess fluids in the body
- Low Sodium diet help to control edema
- Anticoagulants to prevent blood clots
- Blood Pressure medications to lower high blood pressure
- Statins to lower the cholesterol level
- Maintaining a healthy diet: Correct amounts of protein and fluid intake according to your nephrologist’s recommendations. A healthy diet consists of low salt with emphasis on fruits and vegetables, low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Not smoking
Click here for specific information about each treatment option.