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about the kidneys
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about the kidneys

I would like to now how the hep-c virus effects the kidneys and at what stage dose it cause kidney damage.
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It doesn't. It affects the liver.
OH is correct.

Liver disease can affect the kidneys. It is only when a person has End-Stage Liver Disease that when the liver fails it can also cause the kidneys to shut down or fail. Many people who are very ill with liver disease require dialysis to clean the blood which the kidneys are suppose to do.

"Hepatorenal syndrome is a condition in which there is progressive kidney failure in a person with cirrhosis of the liver. It is a serious and often life-threatening complication of cirrhosis.

The disorder occurs in up to 1 in 10 patients who are in the hospital due to liver failure.

The predicted outcome is poor. Death is usually the result of a secondary infection or severe bleeding (hemorrhage).


The goal of treatment is to help your liver work better and to make sure your heart is pumping enough blood to your body.

Treatment is generally the same as kidney failure due to any cause.

All unnecessary medicines should be stopped, especially ibuprofen and other NSAIDs, the antibiotic neomycin, and diuretics ("water pills").

Dialysis may improve symptoms.

Medications such as octreotide plus midodrine, albumin, or dopamine may be used to improve blood pressure and temporarily to help your kidneys work better.

A nonsurgical shunt (known as TIPS) is used to relieve the symptoms of ascites and may help kidney function.

Surgery to place a shunt (called a Levine shunt) from the abdominal space (peritoneum) to the jugular vein may also relieve some of the symptoms of kidney failure. Both procedures are risky and proper selection of patients is very important."

This is a little info from  CDC Professional web site;


Does chronic Hepatitis C affect only the liver?
A small percentage of persons with chronic HCV infection develop medical conditions due to Hepatitis C that are not limited to the liver. These conditions are thought to be attributable to the body's immune response to HCV infection. Such conditions can include
Diabetes mellitus, which occurs three times more frequently in HCV-infected persons
Glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney disease caused by inflammation of the kidney
Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia, a condition involving the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood
Porphyria cutanea tarda, an abnormality in heme production that causes skin fragility and blistering
Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which might occur somewhat more frequently in HCV-infected persons
Actually, Hep C can affect and damage the kidneys:

Extrahepatic Manifestations of Chronic Hepatitis C
'The kidneys are also affected in some patients with hepatitis C. The most common kidney disease related to hepatitis C infection is membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) (6). The prevalence of MPGN varies with geographical location. It is more common in Japan and is less frequently seen in France. Patients with MPGN usually complain of weakness, edema and have systemic arterial hypertension. Urine of such patients contains a lot of protein (>3.5 g/day), a condition called nephritic syndrome. Other abnormalities include low serum albumin (due to losses in the urine), decreased complement levels, and the presence of rheumatoid factor and cryoglobulins. MPGN may sometimes occur in the absence of cryoglobulinemia. Another kidney disease called membranous nephropathy (MN) is less common in HCV infected patients and is not associated with cryoglobulinemia or rheumatoid factor but is associated with heavy proteinuria (7). The mechanism of the disease is still unclear, but some studies suggest that it is caused by circulating complexes of antibodies and HCV particles directly causing damage to the kidneys as they are deposited in the glomerulus and tubules of the kidneys. Some authors recommend treatment of patients with HCV-related kidney disease even in the absence of active liver disease. The current treatment of choice for HCV infection is interferon and ribavirin. However, in patients with severe renal failure, only interferon monotherapy is recommended because ribavirin cannot be removed by dialysis. Thus, it accumulates and causes severe breakdown of red blood cells (hemolysis) and anemia. "


Another link to another good article on extra hepatic manifestations of Hep C:


This last one is a PDF so I cannot copy the words, but go down to the manifestations under M (they are in alphabetical order) and you will see 2 kidney problems associated with Hep C.
After 30 years mine are ok,as they said it does not effect the Kidneys,BUT,if you leave it till you start to get cirrhosis,then any medical journal will tell you at the peak,kidney failure is the most common effect of cirrhosis.
Thanks for the correction.
I guess I am lucky, despite going through a transplant, doing hep C treatment and being on immune suppressions, my kidneys are still healthy.
Many doctors know little or nothing about Hep C and extrahepatic manifestations and diseases caused by Hep C. Many/most doctors shrug off extrahepatic manifestations of Hep C and say it is not from Hep C. But that just is not true. Most docs could not tell you much of anything about Hep C either. Their knowledge is limited. But Hep C can and does cause many extrahepatic manifestations.  The kidneys definitely can be affected by the Hep C infection and the liver does not have to be cirrhotic or failing for the kidneys to be damaged.

Anyone with Hep C should be keeping a close eye on their urine protein and their glomerular filtration rate.

The information from the two links is pretty clear if a person reads the material presented.

Yes, OH, you were very lucky and things have worked out well for you. I am so happy for you.
I think it has taken a while in general for the notion of extrahepatic manifestations to gain the understanding and recognition they deserve. Even on MedHelp if you read some of the older posts - and by "older" I mean as recent as 2008. In a way it is understandable. For the longest time there was pretty much only one treatment option for the lot of us.
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