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J Med Case Rep. 2011 Feb 21;5:71. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-5-71.

Collapsing glomerulopathy in sickle cell disease: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Howard University Hospital, 2041 Georgia Avenue, Washington, DC 20060, USA.



Sickle cell disease has been associated with many renal structural and functional abnormalities. Collapsing glomerulopathy or the collapsing variant of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is a rare clinicopathologic entity in patients with sickle cell disease that requires timely diagnosis and aggressive management.


In this case report we describe a 21-year-old African-American woman with a medical history of significant sickle cell disease and asthma. She was admitted for pain, decreased urine output, bilateral leg swelling and reported weight gain. During her period of hospitalisation she developed acute renal failure requiring dialysis. Further investigation revealed the collapsing variant of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.


Although focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is a common feature of sickle cell nephropathy, the collapsing variant of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or collapsing glomerulopathy has been rarely documented. Even when other risk factors are controlled, collapsing glomerulopathy has a very poor prognosis. This is a rare case of a patient with massive proteinuria presenting as acute renal failure with a very poor response to corticosteroids and a much faster rate of progression to end-stage renal disease.

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