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J Med Case Rep. 2017 Jul 21;11(1):197. doi: 10.1186/s13256-017-1346-8.

Crescentic glomerular nephritis associated with rheumatoid arthritis: a case report.

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University Medical Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo 10, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
University Medical Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo 10, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka.



Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disorder where clinically significant renal involvement is relatively common. However, crescentic glomerular nephritis is a rarely described entity among the rheumatoid nephropathies. We report a case of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis presenting with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-negative crescentic glomerular nephritis.


A 54-year-old Sri Lankan woman who had recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis was being treated with methotrexate 10 mg weekly and infrequent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. She presented to our hospital with worsening generalized body swelling and oliguria of 1 month's duration. Her physical examination revealed that she had bilateral pitting leg edema and periorbital edema. She was not pale or icteric. She had evidence of mild synovitis of the small joints of the hand bilaterally with no deformities. No evidence of systemic vasculitis was seen. Her blood pressure was 170/100 mmHg, and her jugular venous pressure was elevated to 7 cm with an undisplaced cardiac apex. Her urine full report revealed 2+ proteinuria with active sediment (dysmorphic red blood cells [17%] and granular casts). Her 24-hour urinary protein excretion was 2 g. Her serum creatinine level was 388 μmol/L. Abdominal ultrasound revealed normal-sized kidneys with acute parenchymal changes and mild ascites. Her renal biopsy showed renal parenchyma containing 20 glomeruli showing diffuse proliferative glomerular nephritis, with 14 of 20 glomeruli showing cellular crescents, and the result of Congo red staining was negative. Her rheumatoid factor was positive with a high titer (120 IU/ml), but results for antinuclear antibody, double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid, and antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (perinuclear and cytoplasmic) were negative. Antistreptolysin O titer <200 U/ml and cryoglobulins were not detected. The results of her hepatitis serology, retroviral screening, and malignancy screening were negative. Her erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 110 mm in the first hour, and her C-reactive protein level was 45 mg/dl. Her liver profile showed hypoalbuminemia of 28 g/dl. She was treated with immunomodulators and had a good recovery of her renal function.


This case illustrates a rare presentation of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-negative crescentic glomerular nephritis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, awareness of which would facilitate early appropriate investigations and treatment.


Crescentic glomerular nephritis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Rheumatoid nephropathies

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