Membranous nephropathy.

Membranous nephropathy harms the tiny blood vessels in the kidney (glomeruli), making them thick and leaky. In healthy kidneys, these tiny blood vessels have two jobs.  They allow things your body doesn’t need to be taken out of the blood and keep important things such as proteins in the blood. Think of a pasta strainer – the cooking water (things you don’t need) leaves through the holes but the pasta (like proteins) stays inside the strainer. When these tiny blood vessels get thick and leaky, as in membranous nephropathy, proteins end up in the urine instead of staying in the blood. The holes in the strainer have gotten too big to keep the pasta in the strainer. This means there is less protein in your blood that causes water accumulation (aka edema) in the body, decreased ability to fight infection and increased possibility for blood clots to form.

Membranous nephropathy can be caused by other diseases (such as Lupus, some infections and some cancers), or it can happen on its own. Some patients with membranous nephropathy get better on their own, some patients recover only with medical help and some unfortunately progress to kidney failure needing dialysis.

At Tufts Medical Center, we use the most recent medical science to diagnose and treat membranous nephropathy. A new blood test, PLA2R testing, has revolutionized the diagnosis and monitoring of membranous nephropathy. We use the most accurate PLA2R testing to guide our medical care.

When you come to Tufts Medical Center, we will look for underlying illnesses, perform blood tests and often do a kidney biopsy to understand the type of membranous nephropathy you have. Then we will create a treatment plan based on what we find. Our treatment plan includes immune therapy specific to the cause of membranous nephropathy and also treatment to support and promote overall kidney health such as diet, weight management or blood pressure control. 

Our goal is to give each patient a lifetime of individualized care.  We help patients understand what is known and what is not known about their disease and treatments to help them make the best treatment decisions. We understand what it's like to live with kidney disease. Dr. Inker and her team are experienced and dedicated kidney doctors who can help you and your family life your life with kidney disease.

 

Programs + Services


Nephrology

The Division of Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston specializes in the study, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease and high blood pressure and more.
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Center for Glomerular Disease

Our Glomerular Disease clinic is a multi-disciplinary clinic designed to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of kidney glomerular disorders. We will use an evidence–based approach combined with individualized decision making to take care of you.
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Doctors + Care Team

Craig E. Gordon, MD, MS

Craig E. Gordon, MD, MS

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Nephrologist; Associate Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #:

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), hepatitis C virus in chronic kidney disease, Thrombotic microangiopathy, glomerular disease, kidney transplantation, chronic kidney disease

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David Drew, MD, MS

David Drew, MD, MS

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Nephrologist; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

General nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury, kidney stones and monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance

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Lesley A.  Inker, MD, MS

Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Director, Kidney and Blood Pressure Center; Director, Kidney Function and Evaluation Center; Director, Quality Improvement; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Nephrology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5866
Fax #: 617-636-2369

Geriatric nephrology, pregnancy, HIV-associated kidney disease, kidney transplantation, kidney donor evaluation, medical treatment for kidney failure without dialysis, kidney function evaluation (GFR), general nephrology, chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetic kidney disease, glomerular disease, vasculitis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney disease, acute kidney disease, acute kidney injury and kidney stones

View Full Profile for Lesley A. Inker, MD, MS