Relationship between tonsils and IgA nephropathy as well as indications of tonsillectomy

Yuansheng Xie, Xiangmei Chen, Shinichi Nishi, Ichiei Narita, Fumitake Gejyo
Kidney International 2004, 65 (4): 1135-44
Although there are many papers about IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and tonsils, respectively, reviews about the relationship between tonsils, tonsillitis, tonsillectomy, and IgAN are limited. In this review, we introduced the structure, development, and function of tonsils, difference of tonsils with and without IgAN, consistency of both tonsillar IgA and glomerular IgA, the effect of tonsil stimulation, tonsil infection, and tonsillectomy on IgAN showed some evidences in which tonsils were closely related to IgAN and polymeric IgA1 deposited in glomerular mesangium were at least in part of tonsillar origin. Tonsillectomy can improve the urinary findings, keep stable renal function, improve mesangial proliferation and IgA deposit, have a favorable effect on long-tern renal survival in some IgAN patients, and do not cause significant immune deficiency and do not increase incidence of the upper respiratory tract infections, and can be used as a potentially effective treatment. The indications of tonsillectomy in patients with IgAN include mainly the deterioration of urinary findings after tonsillar infection, mild or moderate renal damage. However, tonsillectomy may not be enough and may not change the prognosis in IgAN patients with marked renal damage.

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