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      An IgA1-lambda-type monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease associated with membranous features in a patient with IgG4-related kidney disease: a case report

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          IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a newly recognized fibroinflammatory condition. The kidney is one of the organs commonly affected by IgG4-RD. Tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) is the main feature, and membranous nephropathy (MN) has also been described frequently. In MN, polyclonal immunoglobulins and complements are deposited in granular form along the glomerular basement membranes (GBMs). Unusual cases of monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease (MIDD) associated with membranous features have been reported. MIDD is morphologically similar to MN but contains immunoglobulins considered to be derived from single B-cell clone.

          Case presentation

          We describe a 65-year-old man who was referred to our hospital because of hyperproteinaemia, eosinophilia, anaemia, and proteinuria. A renal biopsy demonstrated infiltration of plasma cells and eosinophils in the interstitium, and the ratio of IgG4-positive plasma cells to IgG-positive plasma cells was 55%. The patient was diagnosed as having IgG4-related TIN. Periodic acid methenamine silver staining under light microscopy revealed a bubbling appearance and spike formation in the GBM. On immunofluorescence, the expression of IgG and complements was negative; however, IgA was positively expressed in a granular pattern along the GBM. An IgA subclass analysis revealed a significant deposition of IgA1-lambda (IgA1-λ). Electron microscopy revealed irregular and small non-organized and non-Randall-type granular electron-dense deposits in the GBM that were shaped like snow leopard spots.


          After corticosteroid therapy was initiated, the patient’s eosinophilia remarkably improved and his serum creatinine, IgG, and IgG4 levels decreased to within the normal ranges. However, massive proteinuria persisted. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of IgG4-related TIN associated with IgA1-λ-type MIDD with membranous features.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Recommendations for the nomenclature of IgG4-related disease and its individual organ system manifestations.

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            Clinicopathological characteristics of patients with IgG4-related tubulointerstitial nephritis.

            IgG4-related disease is a recently recognized multi-organ disorder characterized by high levels of serum IgG4 and dense infiltration of IgG4-positive cells into several organs. Although the pancreas was the first organ recognized to be affected by IgG4-related disorder in the syndrome of autoimmune pancreatitis, we present here clinico-pathological features of 23 patients diagnosed as having renal parenchymal lesions. These injuries were associated with a high level of serum IgG4 and abundant IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration into the renal interstitium with fibrosis. In all patients, tubulointerstitial nephritis was the major finding. Although 14 of the 23 patients did not have any pancreatic lesions, their clinicopathological features were quite uniform and similar to those shown in autoimmune pancreatitis. These included predominance in middle-aged to elderly men, frequent association with IgG4-related conditions in other organs, high levels of serum IgG and IgG4, a high frequency of hypocomplementemia, a high serum IgE level, a patchy and diffuse lesion distribution, a swirling fibrosis in the renal pathology, and a good response to corticosteroids. Thus, we suggest that renal parenchymal lesions actually develop in association with IgG4-related disease, for which we propose the term 'IgG4-related tubulointerstitial nephritis.'
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              Proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits.

              Dysproteinemias that result in monoclonal glomerular deposits of IgG are relatively uncommon. Here, we report the largest series of proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits, a form of renal involvement by monoclonal gammopathy that mimics immune-complex glomerulonephritis. We retrospectively identified 37 patients, most of whom were white (81%), female (62%), or older than 50 yr (65%). At presentation, 49% had nephrotic syndrome, 68% had renal insufficiency, and 77% had hematuria. In 30% of the patients, we identified a monoclonal serum protein with the same heavy- and light-chain isotypes as the glomerular deposits (mostly IgG1 or IgG2), but only one patient had myeloma. Histologic patterns were predominantly membranoproliferative (57%) or endocapillary proliferative (35%) with membranous features. Electron microscopy revealed granular, nonorganized deposits, and immunofluorescence demonstrated glomerular deposits that stained for a single light-chain isotype and a single heavy-chain subtype, most commonly IgG3kappa (53%). During an average of 30.3 mo of follow-up for 32 patients with available data, 38% had complete or partial recovery, 38% had persistent renal dysfunction, and 22% progressed to ESRD. Correlates of ESRD on univariate analysis were higher creatinine at biopsy, percentage of glomerulosclerosis, and degree of interstitial fibrosis but not immunomodulatory treatment or presence of a monoclonal spike. On multivariate analysis, higher percentage of glomerulosclerosis was the only independent predictor of ESRD. Only one patient lacking a monoclonal spike at presentation subsequently developed a monoclonal spike and no patient with a monoclonal spike at presentation subsequently developed a hematologic malignancy. We conclude that proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits does not seem to be a precursor of myeloma in the vast majority of patients.

                Author and article information

                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central (London )
                20 November 2018
                20 November 2018
                : 19
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0467 0255, GRID grid.415020.2, Department of Nephrology, , Dokkyo Medical University Saitama Medical Center, ; 2-1-50 Minamikoshigaya, Koshigaya, Saitama, 343-8555 Japan
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0467 0255, GRID grid.415020.2, Department of Pathology, , Dokkyo Medical University Saitama Medical Center, ; 2-1-50 Minamikoshigaya, Koshigaya, Saitama, 343-8555 Japan
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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