There is a strong and likely causal association between chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and glomerular disease [1-4]. Several types of renal disease have been recognized including mixed cryoglobulinemia, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), membranous nephropathy [5-11], and polyarteritis nodosa (PAN). Crescentic glomerulonephritis may be superimposed on any of these glomerular lesions.
Less commonly, other glomerular lesions have been reported in HCV-infected patients, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) [12-14], proliferative glomerulonephritis [15-17], and fibrillary [18-20] and immunotactoid glomerulopathies . In some patients, glomerular disease may be clinically silent [21,22]. (See 'Types of glomerular disease associated with hepatitis C infection' below.)
Glomerular diseases associated with HCV can also occur in renal allografts. These issues are presented in detail elsewhere. (See "Renal disease associated with hepatitis C virus after renal transplantation".)
This topic provides an overview of the renal diseases associated with chronic HCV infection. The diagnosis of HCV infection, treatment of HCV infection in patients with kidney disease, and evaluation and management of HCV-associated renal disease following renal transplantation are discussed in other topics. (See "Diagnosis and evaluation of chronic hepatitis C virus infection" and "Treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection in adults with renal impairment" and "Renal disease associated with hepatitis C virus after renal transplantation".)
TYPES OF GLOMERULAR DISEASE ASSOCIATED WITH HEPATITIS C INFECTION
The major glomerular diseases associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection include the following: