13 September 2016
Anti-M-type phospholipase A 2 receptor (anti-PLA 2R) is a widely accepted biomarker for clinical idiopathic membranous neurophathy (IMN). However, its ability to differentiate between IMN and secondary MN (SMN) is controversial. The objective of this study was to assess clinical MN biomarkers in blood, tissue and urine samples from Chinese patients. In total, 195 MN patients and 70 patients with other glomerular diseases were prospectively enrolled in the study. Participants were followed up for average of 17 months (range 3-39 months). Anti-PLA 2R and anti-THSD7A (thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing 7A) were detected only in MN patient sera and not in controls. Serum anti-THSD7A and THSD7A-positive biopsies were detected in 1/18 and 2/18 PLA 2R-negative MN cases, respectively. PLA 2R and THSD7A were detected in 72.27% and 40% of SMN cases, respectively. While serum positivity for both anti-PLA 2R and anti-THSD7A at the time of renal biopsy was specific to MN patients, neither antigen could discriminate between primary and secondary MN. We also found that high urinary levels of retinol binding protein (RBP) predicted poor proteinuria outcomes in study participants. Patients with low or medium urinary RBP levels achieved remission more frequently than those with high RBP.