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BMC Nephrol. 2013 Mar 22;14:66. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-14-66.

Pulmonary renal syndrome in a child with coexistence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease: case report and literature review.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.



Pulmonary renal syndrome (PRS), denoting the presence of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage and glomerulonephritis as manifestations of systemic autoimmune disease, is very rare in childhood. The coexistence of circulating anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) and anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease in children affected by this syndrome is exceptional, with unfavorable outcome in five out of seven patients reported to date. We describe a child with PRS associated with both circulating anti-myeloperoxidase (anti-MPO) ANCA and anti-GBM disease on renal biopsy who was successfully treated with immunosuppressive therapy.


A 10-year old girl presented with fever, fatigue, malaise, and pallor followed by hemoptysis and severe anemia. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage was revealed on fiberoptic bronchoscopy. Renal findings consisted of microscopic hematuria, moderate proteinuria, and anti-GBM disease on renal biopsy. ANCA with anti-MPO specificity were present whereas anti-GBM antibodies were on borderline for positivity. Methyl-prednisolone pulses followed by prednisone led to cessation of hemoptysis, marked improvement of lung fuction, and normal finding on chest x-ray within 10 days. An immunosuppressive regimen was then given consisting of prednisone daily for 4 weeks with subsequent taper on alternate day, i.v. cyclophosphamide pulses monthly for 6 doses, followed by mycophenolate mofetil that resulted in normal lung function tests, hemoglobin concentration, and anti-MPO level within four subsequent weeks. During 10-months of follow-up she remained well, her blood pressure and renal function tests were normal, and proteinuria and hematuria gradually resolved.


We report a child with an exceptionally rare coexistence of circulating ANCA and anti-GBM disease manifesting as PRS in whom renal disease was not the prominent part of clinical presentation, contrary to other reported pediatric patients. A review of literature on disease with double positive antibodies is also presented. Evaluation of a patient with PRS should include testing for presence of different antibodies. An early diagnosis and rapid institution of aggressive immunosuppressive therapy can induce remission and preserve renal function. Renal prognosis depends on the extent of kidney injury at diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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