What are the symptoms of Goodpasture’s syndrome?
Goodpasture’s syndrome can cause people to cough up blood or
feel a burning sensation when urinating. But its first signs
may be vague, such as fatigue, nausea, difficulty breathing,
or paleness. These signs are followed by kidney involvement,
represented first by small amounts of blood in the urine,
protein in the urine, and other clinical and laboratory
How is Goodpasture’s syndrome diagnosed?
To diagnose Goodpasture’s syndrome, doctors use a blood
test, but a kidney or lung biopsy may be necessary to check
for the presence of the harmful antibodies.
Goodpasture’s syndrome treated?
Goodpasture’s syndrome is
treated with oral immunosuppressive drugs—cyclophosphamide
and corticosteroids—to keep the immune system from making
antibodies. Corticosteroid drugs may be given intravenously
to control bleeding in the lungs. A process called
plasmapheresis may be helpful and necessary to remove the
harmful antibodies from the blood. In plasmapheresis, a
patient’s blood is drawn, about 300 ml at a time, and placed
in a centrifuge to separate the red and white blood cells
from the plasma. The cells are then placed in a plasma
substitute and returned to the body. This procedure is
usually done in combination with immunosuppressive drug
Goodpasture’s syndrome may last only a few weeks or as long as 2
years. Bleeding in the lungs can be very serious and even fatal
in some cases. But Goodpasture’s syndrome does not usually lead
to permanent lung damage. Damage to the kidneys, however, may be
long-lasting. If the kidneys fail, dialysis to remove waste
products and extra fluid from the blood, or kidney
transplantation, may become necessary.