Developing a health economic model of diagnosis and management of membranous nephropathy

Principal Researcher – Patrick Hamilton

Membranous nephropathy (MN) is one of the most common causes of kidney disease in adults worldwide. There are two types of MN; primary or idiopathic MN (IMN), for which the cause is unknown, and secondary MN that can be caused by cancer, immune disorders, infection and drugs. This means that patients, particularly older patients at higher risk of cancer, often undergo a number of investigations such as blood tests as well as X-rays, CT scans and endoscopies (camera tests) to try to find a cause. This is important as management of these two conditions can be very different, from stopping medication to treatment of underlying infection or cancer. Currently there is no standard way to investigate possible causes of membranous nephropathy as there is insufficient data on how commonly underlying conditions such as cancer or infection may contribute to the disease. The project will involve interrogating the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) database that provides data on over 5 million people from across the UK and thereby providing a large population from which to draw the largest dataset of MN patients yet studied.

The results of this study will be used in a larger project that aims to provide guidance to healthcare practitioners on what is the most effective method of investigating MN in order to speed up diagnosis and therefore treatment.