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Clin Nephrol. 1976 Oct;6(4):422-7.

Association of overt glomerulonephritis and liver disease: a study of 34 patients.


Thirty-four patients with overt glomerulonephritis and chronic liver disease were studied. Kidney specimens were examined by light, electron and immunofluorescence microscopy. Plasma C3 levels were measured and a search for cryoglobulinemia was carried out in all patients. Twenty-six out of the thirty-four patients had an immune complex type glomerulonephritis (membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis or glomerulosclerosis with mesangial deposits) suggestive of hepatic glomerulonephritis. The glomerular deposits almost always contained IgA and very frequently other immunoglobulins as well as C3. The membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis was characterized by severe renal symptoms, mixed cryoglobulinemia and the frequent finding of low C3 levels. These data suggest that there is a linkage between liver disease and glomerulonephritis. The immunomorphological type of glomerulonephritis and the cryoglobulinemia are both suggestive of an immune complex disease. The lowering of the C3 levels could be due to activation of complement components by immune complexes, to hepatic hyposynthesis, or to a combination of the two.

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