Limited published literature exists on the utility and standardization of anti-phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R) immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the diagnosis of primary membranous nephropathy (MN). The study aimed to validate anti-PLA2R IHC for the diagnosis of primary MN and clinicopathological correlations in an Indian cohort.
Subjects included patients with primary and secondary MN diagnosed between January 2012 and August 2014 with an adequate renal biopsy and at least 1 year of clinical follow-up. Anti-PLA2R IHC was performed in all cases with miscellaneous renal lesions as controls. Electron microscopy was performed in selected cases. Sensitivity and specificity of anti-PLA2R IHC to identify primary MN was evaluated. Histopathological analyses of primary and secondary MN were done with clinicopathological correlations including serum creatinine, eGFR, chronic kidney disease stage, 24-h urine protein, serum cholesterol, serum albumin, and hypertension at presentation and follow-up, using the Kruskal-Wallis test and Spearman rank correlation. A p value of ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant.
In 153 MN patients (99 primary, 54 secondary) and 37 miscellaneous controls, anti-PLA2R IHC differentiated primary from secondary MN with a sensitivity of 70.2% and a specificity of 96.6%. Secondary MN had increased mesangial matrix expansion compared to primary MN ( p = 0.001). Severe nephrotic syndrome, impaired renal function, and hypertension were all more common in primary than in secondary MN.