Goodpasture syndrome is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs or the kidneys.
The disease occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against collagen in the lungs and kidneys. Collagen is a protein that helps form connective tissue. These substances are called anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies. The glomerular basement membrane is a part of the kidneys that helps filter waste and extra fluid from the blood. Anti-glomerular basement membrane antibodies are antibodies against this membrane. They can damage the basement membrane, which can lead to kidney damage.
Goodpasture syndrome initially causes vague symptoms such as nausea, difficulty breathing, or skin pallor. But it can rapidly involve the lungs and kidneys. Goodpasture syndrome can cause people to cough up blood or feel a burning sensation when urinating. These signs are followed by kidney involvement, represented first by small amounts of blood in the urine, protein in the urine, and other clinical and laboratory findings.
Like many autoimmune diseases, Goodpasture syndrome responds well to treatment with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. These drugs dampen the body's normal immune response and the patient may become more susceptible to infections.
Men are eight times more likely to be affected than women. The disease most commonly occurs in early adulthood.