Etanercept-Induced Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Disease

Saif Al-Chalabi, Henry H L Wu, Rajkumar Chinnadurai, Arvind Ponnusamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) disease is a rare form of small-vessel vasculitis that typically causes rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis with or without alveolar haemorrhage. Previously, there has only been one reported case of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) antagonist-induced anti-GBM disease. Here, we describe the first reported case of etanercept-induced anti-GBM disease. A 55-year-old Caucasian man was referred to our tertiary specialist renal centre with a history of painless macroscopic haematuria. The patient has been receiving weekly etanercept injections over the past 12 months for psoriatic arthropathy. The serum immunology panel results highlighted a significantly raised anti-GBM titre (370.1 U). Etanercept was stopped, and the patient was empirically commenced on pulsed methylprednisolone, cyclophosphamide, and plasma exchange. A renal biopsy showed crescentic glomerulonephritis. Few days after admission, he tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and a decision was made to withhold cyclophosphamide. There was further decline in renal function with hyperkalaemia for which he received 2 sessions of haemodialysis. He was restarted on cyclophosphamide upon discharge. The patient was switched to rituximab treatment afterwards as he developed leucopenia 2 weeks following the commencement of cyclophosphamide. The serum creatinine level continued to improve and remained dialysis-independent. In conclusion, with the increased use of etanercept and other TNF-α antagonists, the prescribing clinician must be aware of the rare but life-threatening drug-induced vasculitis. We recommend careful monitoring of renal indices with the use of this class of medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalCase reports in nephrology and dialysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021


  • Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease
  • Etanercept
  • Tumour necrosis factor-alpha/antagonists and inhibitors


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