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      Proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal immunoglobulin in renal allografts

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          Glomerulopathy due to dysproteinemia can have a wide spectrum of pathologic and clinical features based on specific characteristics of the abnormal protein and the response induced within the parenchymal tissue. Monoclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) deposition can manifest as a different glomerular disease. Proliferative glomerulonephritis (GN) with monoclonal IgG deposits (PGNMID) is a unique entity mimicking immune complex GN that does not conform to any of those subtypes. IgG monoclonal granular deposition in the glomeruli with a pattern similar to immune complex disease suggested by C3 and C1q deposition should prompt consideration of PGNMID. Literature is scarce in terms of recurrence of disease in renal allografts. In this article we present the clinical–pathologic features of three cases of PGNMID in the renal allograft showing the variable course and manifestation of the disease.

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          Most cited references 16

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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.
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            Fibrillary and immunotactoid glomerulonephritis: Distinct entities with different clinical and pathologic features.

            Controversy surrounds the relatedness of fibrillary glomerulonephritis (FGN) and immunotactoid glomerulonephritis (IT). To better define their clinicopathologic features and outcome, we report the largest single center series of 67 cases biopsied from 1980 to 2001, including 61 FGN and 6 IT. FGN was defined by glomerular immune deposition of Congo red-negative randomly oriented fibrils of or = 30 nm (mean, 38.2 +/- 5.7 nm). FGN comprised 0.6% of total native kidney biopsies and IT was tenfold more rare (0.06%). Deposits in FGN were immunoglobulin G (IgG) dominant and polyclonal in 96%. IgG subtype analysis in 19 FGN cases showed monotypic deposits in four (two IgG1 and two IgG4) and oligotypic deposits in 15 (all combined IgG1 and IgG4). In IT, deposits were IgG dominant in 83% and monoclonal in 67% (three IgG1 kappa and one IgG1 lambda). FGN patients were a mean age of 57 years, 92% were Caucasian, and 39% were male. At biopsy, FGN patients had the following clinical characteristics (mean, range): creatinine 3.1 mg/dL (0.5 to 14), proteinuria 6.5 g/day (0.8 to 25), 60% microhematuria, and 59% hypertension. Histologic patterns of FGN were diverse, including diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis (DPGN) (nine cases), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) (27 cases), mesangial proliferative/sclerosing (MES) (13), membranous glomerulonephritis (MGN) (four), and diffuse sclerosing (DS) (eight). The more proliferative (MPGN and DPGN) and sclerosing (DS) forms presented with a higher creatinine and greater proteinuria compared to MES and MGN. Median time to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was 24.4 months for FGN and mean time to ESRD varied by histologic subtype: DS 7 months, DPGN 20 months, MPGN 44 months, compared to MES 80 months and MGN 87 months. There was no statistically significant effect of immunosuppressive therapy (given to 36% of FGN patients). By Cox regression (hazard ratio, confidence interval, P value), independent predictors of progression to ESRD were creatinine at biopsy [2.05 (1.55 to 2.72) P < 0.001] and severity of interstitial fibrosis [2.01 (1.05 to 3.85) P = 0.034]. Although IT had similar presentation, histologic patterns, and outcome compared to FGN, it had a greater association with monoclonal gammopathy (P = 0.014), underlying lymphoproliferative disease (P = 0.020), and hypocomplementemia (P = 0.032). FGN is an idiopathic condition characterized by polyclonal immune deposits with restricted gamma isotypes. Most patients present with significant renal insufficiency and have a poor outcome despite immunosuppressive therapy, and outcome correlates with histologic subtype. By contrast, IT often contains monoclonal IgG deposits and has a significant association with underlying dysproteinemia and hypocomplementemia. Differentiation of FGN from the much more rare entity IT appears justified on immunopathologic, ultrastructural, and clinical grounds.
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              Proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal IgG deposits: a distinct entity mimicking immune-complex glomerulonephritis.

              Renal disease related to the deposition of monoclonal immunoglobulins containing both heavy and light chains can occur in type 1 cryoglobulinemia, Randall type light and heavy chain deposition disease (LHCDD), and immunotactoid glomerulonephritis. We report a novel phenotype of glomerular injury that does not conform to any of the previously described patterns of glomerular involvement by monoclonal gammopathy. Ten cases of unclassifiable proliferative glomerulonephritis manifesting glomerular monoclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) deposits were identified retrospectively from the archives of the Renal Pathology Laboratory of Columbia University over the past 3 years (biopsy incidence 0.21%). The monoclonal immunoglobulins formed granular electron dense deposits in mesangial, subendothelial, and subepithelial sites, mimicking ordinary immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis and producing a diffuse endocapillary proliferative or membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. However, by immunofluorescence, the deposits were monoclonal, staining for a single light chain isotype and a single gamma subclass (including two IgG1kappa, one IgG1lambda, one IgG2lambda, four IgG3kappa, and one IgG3lambda). All cases stained for the three constant domains of the gamma heavy chain (CH1, CH2, and CH3), suggesting deposition of a nondeleted immunoglobulin molecule. Tissue fixation of complement was observed in 90% of cases, and 40% of patients had hypocomplementemia. Clinical presentations included renal insufficiency in 80% (mean serum creatinine 2.8 mg/dL, range 0.9 to 8.0), proteinuria in 100% (mean urine protein 5.8 g/day; range 1.9 to 13.0), nephrotic syndrome in 44%, and microhematuria in 60%. A monoclonal serum protein with the same heavy and light chain isotype as that of the glomerular deposits was identified in 50% of cases (including three IgGkappa and two IgGlambda); however, no patient had clinical or laboratory features of type 1 cryoglobulinemia. No patient had overt myeloma or lymphoma at presentation or over the course of follow-up (mean 12 months). Glomerular deposition of monoclonal IgG can produce a proliferative glomerulonephritis that mimics immune-complex glomerulonephritis by light and electron microscopy. Proper recognition of this entity requires confirmation of monoclonality by staining for the gamma heavy chain subclasses.

                Author and article information

                Clin Kidney J
                Clin Kidney J
                Clinical Kidney Journal
                Oxford University Press
                December 2015
                03 November 2015
                03 November 2015
                : 8
                : 6
                : 722-728
                Renal Section, Department of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Sandeep Ghai; E-mail: sandeep.ghai@
                © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact



                renal allograft, proliferative gn, monoclonal igg, immune complex


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