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Am J Physiol. 1992 Dec;263(6 Pt 2):F1034-43.

Extent and course of glomerular injury in human membranous glomerulopathy.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, California 94305.


Glomerular permselectivity and dynamics were evaluated serially in 14 nephrotic patients with membranous glomerulopathy (MG). Analysis of transglomerular dextran sieving, before and again after proteinuria remitted, revealed persistent depression by 60-80% of glomerular pore density and the two-kidney ultrafiltration coefficient, Kf. The glomerular filtration rate was lowered by half on each occasion. Morphometric examination of glomeruli in a second group of 16 nephrotic patients with MG revealed a low prevalence of glomerulosclerosis (5 +/- 3%) and a twofold increase in filtration surface due to marked glomerular hypertrophy. Presumably, widening by threefold of the basement membrane and/or epithelial podocytes accounted for the computed reduction in ultrafiltration capacity. There was no correlation between glomerular structure and the subsequent course of MG over the ensuing 24-96 mo. Rather, a twofold expansion of the interstitial compartment predicted those who went on to exhibit progressive renal insufficiency. We conclude that increasing resistance to water flow by walls of patent and perfused glomerular capillaries is the proximate cause of progressive renal insufficiency in MG.

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