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Definition of «Goodpasture syndrome»

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Goodpasture syndrome: An autoimmune disease characterized by a combination of lung and kidney disease --specifically, pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding in the lungs) and glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the glomerulus) --due to severe inflammation in the basement membranes of the alveolus of the lung and the glomerulus in the kidney with the formation of antibodies to components of the basement membrane at both sites.

Symptoms include cough with bloody sputum, bloody urine, decreased urine output, fatigue (weakness) and weight loss. Hypertension and swelling (edema) are also common findings on physical examination.

The syndrome is named for the pioneering American pathologist Ernest William Goodpasture (1886 - 1960) who discovered it during the influenza pandemic of 1918. (Goodpasture made a number of other important contributions. In collaboration with Alice Woodruff, he developed the technique of using a fertilized chicken egg to made vaccines such as influenza, typhus, yellow fever and smallpox. Goodpasture also isolated the mumps virus.)

The syndrome has also been named anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody disease. Although this is admittedly more descriptive than someone's name, it is not as easy to remember as Goodpasture syndrome.

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