Goodpasture syndrome is an autoimmune disease which is rare and potentially life-threatening. A person suffers from this disease when the immune system attacks the walls of their lungs and the tiny filtering units in the kidneys. Dr. Ernest Goodpasture had identified this syndrome in 1919 and therefore, it is named after him.
Symptoms may start out slowly, gradually affecting the lungs and then the kidneys. Other times they may progress rapidly, becoming severe in a matter of days. Initial symptoms may include:
If the disease moves to affect the lungs, the following symptoms may occur:
Although Goodpasture syndrome may cause life-threatening bleeding in the lungs, it usually does not result in long-term lung damage. The most serious consequence of Goodpasture syndrome is kidney failure, which may require either dialysis or a kidney transplant.
A person with Goodpasture syndrome needs prompt and aggressive treatment in order to fight antibodies, control fluid buildup, control high blood pressure, and prevent serious lung and kidney damage.
The main goal when treating Goodpasture syndrome is to remove the harmful antibodies from the blood. A treatment called plasmapheresis removes whole blood from the body and replaces the plasma with fluid, protein, or donated plasma. Removing harmful antibodies may reduce inflammation in the kidneys and lungs.
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