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Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a rare disease in which immune complexes deposit at the glomerular basement membrane, causing damage to the filtration barrier, resulting in proteinuria. Recent studies have shown that in approximately 70% of patients with primary MN (pMN), the immune complexes consist of autoantibodies against the podocyte protein M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R). There is also evidence that levels of anti-PLA2R autoantibodies correlate well with disease activity and progression. The presence of anti-PLA2R antibodies could also potentially be used to differentiate pMN from other causes of nephrotic syndrome if a biopsy is not possible. Among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) awaiting kidney transplantation, higher levels of anti-PLA2R could predict those more likely to recur after transplantation.
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