Cutting edge issues in Goodpasture's disease

Andrew Chan, Samuel Louie, Kevin O. Leslie, Maya M. Juarez, Timothy E Albertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Goodpasture's disease, or anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) disease, is a systemic autoimmune disorder defined by anti-GBM antibody-mediated damage (mainly immunoglobulin G-1) resulting in progressive crescentic glomerulonephritis and, frequently, diffuse pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage. It may be regarded as a "conformeropathy" where the quaternary structure of the α345NC1 hexamer that constitutes GBM undergoes a conformational change, exposing pathogenic epitopes on the α3 and α5 chains, eliciting a pathogenic autoantibody anti-GBM response. Goodpasture's disease accounts for 20% of all patients presenting with a pulmonary-renal syndrome and may be associated with detectable perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody positivity in up to a third of patients. Associated triggers may include tobacco smoking, hydrocarbon solvent exposure, and cocaine abuse. Cough, hemoptysis, and dyspnea with fatigue are the commonest presenting features. It is critical to rapidly distinguish Goodpasture's disease from other causes of pulmonary-renal syndromes such as Wegener's granulomatosis. Early and intensive treatment with plasmapheresis and immunosuppression with systemic corticosteroids pending results of diagnostic testing, and later cyclophosphamide, is often beneficial, with 90% of patients surviving the acute presentation of Goodpasture's disease. The need for hemodialysis on initial presentation, a serum creatinine >5 mg/dL, and 50% to 100% crescents on renal biopsy, portend the necessity of long-term hemodialysis. Further elucidation of the molecular pathobiology of Goodpasture's disease, particularly the regulation of involved antigen-specific T cells, may improve early diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes in this rare but potentially lethal autoimmune disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Alveolar hemorrhage
  • Anti-GBM
  • Antibodies
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Goodpasture's
  • Plasmapheresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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