What is the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B)?

Updated: Jun 08, 2021
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The mechanism by which patients with chronic hepatitis B develop glomerulonephritis is not completely understood. One possible explanation is that HBV antigens (ie, HBsAg, HBeAg) act as triggering factors, eliciting immunoglobulins and thus forming immune complexes, which are dense, irregular deposits in the glomerular capillary basement membranes. HBV DNA has been identified by in situ hybridization in kidney specimens, distributed generally in the nucleus and cytoplasm of epithelial cells and mesangial cells of glomeruli and in the epithelial cells of renal tubules.

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