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Am J Kidney Dis. 1998 Oct;32(4):582-8.

Immunohistological and ultrastructural differences between recurrent type I membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and chronic transplant glomerulopathy.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


In renal transplant recipients with type I membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), the posttransplantation course can be complicated by a recurrence of the original disease. However, it is well known that a recurrence of type I MPGN and chronic transplant glomerulopathy (CTG) cannot easily be distinguished. It has been suggested that the two entities can be differentiated by using electron microscopy (EM) and immunofluorescence (IF) techniques. However, studies are lacking that compare biopsy specimens from patients with either a recurrence of type I MPGN or CTG. We have studied renal biopsy specimens from 10 patients with CTG and compared the ultrastructural and IF findings with biopsy specimens from 12 patients with a possible recurrence of type I MPGN. All the patients with CTG showed an electron-lucent zone of finely flocculent material in the subendothelial space, whereas all patients with a recurrence of type I MPGN showed subendothelial electron-dense deposits on EM. On IF, all patients with CTG showed Immunoglobulin M (IgM) with greater intensity than C3. For the patients with recurrent type I MPGN, the opposite was true. Eleven specimens showed C3 deposits with greater intensity than IgM, and in one patient, C3 and IgM were found in equal intensity. In conclusion, when IF and EM studies are available, CTG and recurrence of type I MPGN can reliably be distinguished.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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