IgA nephropathy is the most common primary glomerulonephritis worldwide. Its frequent coexistence with inflammatory, infectious, or malignant processes raises the possibility of a pathologic rather than coincidental association. Major strides have been made to elucidate the underlying pathophysiologic events that culminate in the development of primary IgA nephropathy. Whether secondary forms of the disease share common pathways triggered by underlying disorders or different mechanisms leading to similar pathologic findings remains to be determined. In this article we describe the most frequent etiologies for secondary IgA nephropathy and review the available literature for the pathophysiology.