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Nephron Clin Pract. 2011;119(2):c145-53. doi: 10.1159/000324762. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Relapse or worsening of nephrotic syndrome in idiopathic membranous nephropathy can occur even though the glomerular immune deposits have been eradicated.

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1
Departments of Internal Medicine and Pathology, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Relapse or worsening of nephrotic syndrome (NS) in idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is generally assumed to be due to recurrent disease. Here we document that often that may not be the case.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

This is a prospective study of 7 consecutive IMN patients whose renal status improved, then worsened after completing a course of immunosuppressive therapy. Each underwent detailed testing and repeat kidney biopsy.

RESULTS:

In 4 patients (group A), the biopsy showed recurrent IMN (fresh subepithelial deposits). Immunosuppressive therapy was begun. In the other 3 patients (group B), the biopsy showed that the deposits had been eradicated. However, the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) was thickened and vacuolated. Immunosuppressive therapy was withheld. Groups A and B were comparable except that group B had very high intakes of salt and protein, based on 24-hour urine testing. Reducing their high salt intake sharply lowered proteinuria to the subnephrotic range and serum creatinine stabilized.

CONCLUSION:

This work is the first to demonstrate that relapse/worsening of NS can occur in IMN even though the GBM deposits have been eradicated. High salt and protein intake in combination with thickened and vacuolated GBM appears to be the mechanism.

PMID:
21757952
PMCID:
PMC3214955
DOI:
10.1159/000324762
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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