Fibrillary glomerulonephritis: An entity with unusual immunofluorescence features

Alpers, Charles E.; Rennke, Helmut G.; Hopper Jr., James; Biava, Claude G.
March 1987
Kidney International;Mar1987, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p781
Academic Journal
We describe seven patients with renal biopsy findings of mild glomerular abnormalities on light microscopy but with prominent accumulation of randomly-arranged fibrillar material in the mesangium and capillary walls on electron microscopy. This material differed from amyloid in that fibrils were thicker (diameter range 10 to 19.5 nm) and did not stain with Congo Red. In six of seven cases fluorescence microscopy showed prominent staining for IgG and kappa light chain in mesangium and glomerular capillary walls: in three cases weak lambda chain staining was also present. Stains for IgA, IgM, and lambda chain were otherwise negative. One biopsy showed equal staining for kappa and lambda light chains, but not for heavy chain components. Clinical findings were heterogeneous. Patients presented with features of nephritis and/or nephrotic syndrome. No patient had an associated lymphoplasmacytic disorder, paraproteinemia, or other evidence of systemic disease. On follow-up ranging from five months to 12 years, all patients are still alive: six progressed to end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis. One patient developed recurrent disease in a renal allograft five years after transplantation. Non-amyloidotic fibrillary glomerulonephritis is an ultrastructurally distinct entity of undetermined etiology. The apparent association with monoclonal IgG and kappa light chain deposition observed in this series deserves further study.


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