Non-Invasive Identification for Causes of Membranous Nephropathy [Test in Focus]

Membranous nephropathy is one of the more common causes of nephrotic syndrome. Other kidney diseases that can resemble this clinically include diabetic nephropathy, minimal change disease, and focal segmental sclerosis. Typically, a kidney biopsy is needed to differentiate these diseases. Patients with membranous nephropathy have an antibody antigen complex that deposits in the glomeruli in a specific sub-epithelial location. Within the last 5 to 10 years, it has been discovered that about two-thirds of patients with membranous nephropathy have auto-antibodies against a specific protein called phospholipase A2 receptor or PLA2R. The PLA2R test is useful for making a definitive diagnosis of membranous nephropathy caused by antibodies against PLA2R. Studies also suggest that these patients respond well to immunosuppressive regimens.

John Lieske, M.D., gives an overview of the phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies testing available through Mayo Clinic Laboratories. He discusses when this testing should be ordered, how this testing improves upon previous testing approaches, and what clinical action can be taken due to the results of this testing.



When to Order

  • Distinguishing primary from secondary membranous nephropathy


Specimen Information

  • Specimen Type: Serum SST
  • Collection Container/Tube: Serum gel
  • Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Performance Information

Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Analytic Time

  • 3 days
Alyssa Frank (@alyssafrank)

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.