Presence of gastrointestinal symptoms in IgA nephropathy: a cross-sectional study

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Background: Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in end-stage kidney disease. Mounting evidence indicates that the intestine plays an important role in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). However, no studies have addressed the obvious question; do IgAN patients suffer from GI symptoms? Methods: Presence of GI symptoms and health-related quality of life were evaluated using the validated Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) and Psychological General Well-Being (PGWB) questionnaires in 104 patients with kidney biopsy-verified IgAN and in 147 healthy controls. A person was regarded to experience ‘increased GI symptoms’ if the GSRS score exceeded plus 1 standard deviation of the mean of the corresponding score in the healthy controls. Results: According to the GSRS total score, the IgAN patients had more GI symptoms than the healthy controls (2.0 vs. 1.7, p < 0.001). Female IgAN patients had higher GSRS total score than male patients (2.2 vs. 1.7, p = 0.001). More IgAN patients with preserved kidney function (eGFR > 60ml/min/1.73m2) suffered from increased symptoms of diarrhoea (76 vs. 25%, p = 0.028), constipation (81 vs. 19%, p = 0.046) and reflux (85 vs. 15%, p = 0.004) than did IgAN patients with reduced kidney function (eGFR < 60ml/min/1.73m2). Conclusions: IgAN patients and especially female IgAN patients experienced more GI symptoms than healthy controls. More prevalent GI symptoms were already observed before kidney function was clearly reduced. Systematic enquiry of GI symptoms might increase the standard of care among IgAN patients. Moreover, GI symptoms may provide clues for future studies that examine the pathophysiology of IgAN.
Original languageEnglish
Article number395
JournalBmc Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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