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Clin Nephrol. 1996 Nov;46(5):302-5.

Prolonged hypocomplementemia in poststreptococcal acute glomerulonephritis.

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Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Children's Kidney Center, Department of Pediatrics, New York 14222, USA.


Complement levels conventionally return to normal in eight weeks in patients with poststreptococcal acute glomerulonephritis (PSAGN). The objective of this study was to determine the significance of prolonged hypocomplementemia (> 8 weeks) in this group of patients. Between April 1993 and January 1995, 20 patients were followed prospectively for a mean of 6 months (range 3-20 months after the episode of PSAGN. Serum C3 concentrations were measured at diagnosis and at regular intervals. Five patients (26%) had prolonged hypocomplementemia. Percutaneous renal biopsies were performed in three patients which revealed findings consistent with the clinical diagnosis of PSAGN. All of these patients showed gradual improvement of their symptoms; some have persistent microscopic hematuria without proteinuria. Kidney function is normal in all despite hypocomplementemia. We conclude that hypocomplementemia (> 8 weeks) with resolving features of acute glomerulonephritis does not exclude the diagnosis of PSAGN, and a renal biopsy may be deferred if there is clinical improvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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