Skip to content

Information and Resources

Goodpasture Syndrome

Font Size
A
A
A

Goodpasture syndrome is a rare but serious autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys.

The disease occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against collagen in the lungs and kidneys. Collagen is a protein that helps form connective tissue.

Recommended Related to

Understanding Kidney Disease -- Prevention

The key to prevention or delay of severe kidney disease is early detection and aggressive intervention -- while there's still time to slow down the progression to kidney failure.  Medical care with early intervention can change the course of chronic kidney disease and help prevent the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. Diabetes and high blood pressure account for two thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease. By aggressively managing diabetes and high blood pressure with diet, exercise,...

Read the Understanding Kidney Disease -- Prevention article > >

Goodpasture syndrome initially causes vague symptoms such as fatigue. But it can rapidly involve the lungs and kidneys. It is almost always fatal if it is not quickly diagnosed and treated.

Causes of Goodpasture Syndrome

Researchers do not fully understand why the immune system attacks collagen in the lungs and kidneys. Goodpasture syndrome can run in families. So some researchers believe it may have a genetic component.

Other factors that may increase the risk of Goodpasture syndrome include:

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as hydrocarbon solvents and the weed killer paraquat
  • Exposure to metallic dust
  • Use of certain drugs, such as cocaine
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Viral infections

Goodpasture syndrome usually affects young men. It more often occurs among whites, and it most commonly affects people who are:

  • Between ages 20 and 30
  • Older than age 60

Symptoms of Goodpasture Syndrome

The first signs of Goodpasture syndrome may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pale skin

Because Goodpasture syndrome may rapidly involve the lungs, initial symptoms such as shortness of breath can quickly progress to a persistent cough, sometimes with blood.

When Goodpasture syndrome affects the kidneys, symptoms may include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Foamy urine
  • Swelling in the legs
  • High blood pressure
  • Burning or difficulty when urinating
  • Back pain below the ribs
  • Swelling of the hands and feet

Although Goodpasture syndrome may cause life-threatening bleeding in the lungs, it usually does not result in long-term lung damage. The most serious consequence of Goodpasture syndrome is kidney failure, which may require either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
man rubbing painful knee
A visual guide.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
human lungs
Symptoms, causes, treatments.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
two male hands
Test your knowledge.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.