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Hum Pathol. 2011 Feb;42(2):279-84. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2010.07.009. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Immunoglobulin A-dominant postinfectious glomerulonephritis: frequent occurrence in nondiabetic patients with Staphylococcus aureus infection.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Calgary Laboratory Services, Foothills Medical Centre, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2T 1K6.


Immunoglobin A-dominant postinfectious glomerulonephritis is a distinct clinicopathologic entity that has been linked to staphylococcal infection, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. An association with diabetic nephropathy has been suggested. Although the morphologic features resemble other forms of postinfectious glomerulonephritis, immunofluorescence shows dominant or codominant immunoglobulin A immune-complex deposits. We encountered 7 patients with immunoglobulin A-dominant postinfectious glomerulonephritis over 2½ years at a single center. All patients presented with renal failure and with varying degrees of hematuria, proteinuria, and hypertension. All patients had clinical infections at the time of presentation. Four patients had documented S aureus infections. Three patients had methicillin-resistant S aureus infection within 2 weeks before the renal biopsy; 2 of these had an infection with a community-associated methicillin-resistant S aureus-10 clone, equivalent to USA300. One patient had methicillin-sensitive S aureus infection. Diffuse proliferative endocapillary glomerulonephritis was found in all cases; 1 had a membranoproliferative glomerulonephritic pattern, and 1 patient had a crescentic glomerulonephritis. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed dominant immunoglobulin A subepithelial and mesangial immune complexes in 5 patients and codominant immunoglobulin A with immunoglobulin G in 2 patients. Electron microscopy revealed large subepithelial deposits ("humps") in all cases. Only 1 patient had clinical diabetes mellitus but without biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy. Two patients died, including the patient with diabetes mellitus. Renal function improved after therapy in 5 nondiabetic patients, but full recovery was not seen during the follow-up. We confirm that immunoglobulin A-dominant postinfectious glomerulonephritis is often associated with S aureus and methicillin-resistant S aureus infections, and, for the first time, we document an association with community-associated methicillin-resistant S aureus.

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