Hepatitis B–a disease which in the U.S. is on the decline due to regular childhood vaccinations–has a variety of interesting associations with renal disease.
There are three distinct glomerular diseases with which the hepatitis B virus is associated. Hepatitis B can cause secondary membranous nephropathy, as well as MPGN (from cryoglobulinemia) and also has an association with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN).
In addition, in the early 90s a variety of outbreaks of hepatitis B infection in dialysis patients was noted in a number of dialysis centers across the U.S. This has led to our current policy of using separate hemofilters for patients with hepatitis B seropositivity when they get dialyzed.