Epidemiology and Outcomes of Glomerular Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Udeme Ekrikpo, Patience Obiagwu, Ugochi Chika-Onu, Manjusha Yadla, Sabine Karam, Elliot K. Tannor, Aminu K. Bello, Ikechi G. Okpechi

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2 Scopus citations


Glomerular diseases account for a significant proportion of chronic kidney disease in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). The epidemiology of glomerulonephritis is characterized inadequately in LMICs, largely owing to unavailable nephropathology services or uncertainty of the safety of the kidney biopsy procedure. In contrast to high-income countries where IgA nephropathy is the dominant primary glomerular disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is common in large populations across Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and South East Asia, while IgA nephropathy is common in Chinese populations. Despite having a high prevalence of known genetic and viral risk factors that trigger focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis also is common in adults and children in some African countries. Treatment of glomerular diseases in adults and children in LMICs largely is dependent on corticosteroids in combination with other immunosuppressive therapy, which often is cyclophosphamide because of its ready availability and low cost of treatment, despite significant adverse effects. Partial and/or complete remission status reported from studies of glomerular disease subtypes vary across LMIC regions, with high rates of kidney failure, mortality, and disease, and treatment complications often reported. Improving the availability of nephropathology services and ensuring availability of specific therapies are key measures to improving glomerular disease outcomes in LMICs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151316
JournalSeminars in nephrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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  • IgA nephropathy
  • LMICs
  • Minimal change disease
  • focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • glomerulonephritis
  • kidney biopsy
  • lupus nephritis
  • membranous nephropathy


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