Goodpasture syndrome is fortunately a very rare autoimmune disease, which combines the affection of lung and kidneys. The disease occurs more often in men than in women, which is a situation less typical for other autoimmune diseases.
The disorder is caused by abnormal immune response against the tissues of our own body. In case of Goodpasture syndrome, the autoantibodies (antibodies directed against tissue or organs) attack membranes in kidney glomeruli (basic microscopic filtration units of kidneys) and lung tissue. The reason for this reaction is not precisely known, but it is possibly a pathological reprogramming of the immune system after fighting a banal viral infection in people with a certain genetic predisposition.
Damage to the lungs usually manifests by dry cough and shortness of breath. When the damage is larger, the patients may cough up blood. Kidney disease manifests as glomerulonephritis, which means inflammation of glomeruli. Goodpasture syndrome behaves as a rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, which severely damages the glomeruli, undermines their ability to filter urine and leads to acute renal failure. The condition usually includes the so-called nephritic syndrome with blood in urine and hypertension.