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      Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis with Subendothelial Deposits (Type 1) Associated with Hepatitis G Virus Infection in a Renal Transplant Recipient

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          Background: Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a well-known etiology for membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) with subendothelial deposits (MPGN type 1). Material and Methods: The newly discovered hepatitis G virus (HGV) is currently under active investigation. We report the first case of de novo MPGN type 1 associated with HGV infection in a young male renal transplant recipient who manifested glomerulonephritis (GN) with proteinuria 7 years after transplant, and whose original disease was chronic obstructive pyelonephritis secondary to nephrolithiasis. Results: Serum markers for HBV and HCV infections were negative. HGV infection was detected by specific double-nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in sera (positive HGV viremia) 2.5 years after renal transplantation. By specific in situ RT-PCR, the presence of the HGV genome was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in the kidney biopsy (glomeruli and tubules), but not in the liver. Conclusion: This report adds new information on the role of HGV infection in the occurrence of de novo GN (MPGN type 1) in renal transplantation.

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          Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis associated with hepatitis C virus infection.

          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes both acute and chronic liver disease and is also associated with mixed cryoglobulinemia. Whether HCV is also associated with renal disease, as is the hepatitis B virus, is not known. We describe the clinical, pathologic, virologic, and immunologic features of eight patients with HCV infection who were referred to nephrologists for glomerulonephritis. Four patients were treated with interferon alfa. All eight patients had proteinuria, and seven had decreased renal function. Renal biopsy in all patients revealed membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, characterized by the deposition of IgG, IgM, and C3 in glomeruli. Electron microscopy of the biopsy specimens showed cryoglobulin-like structures in three of four patients. All eight patients had HCV RNA detected in their serum, elevated serum aminotransferase concentrations, and hypocomplementemia, and the majority had cryoglobulins and circulating immune complexes in their serum. Cryoprecipitates from the three patients who were tested contained HCV RNA and IgG anti-HCV antibodies to the nucleocapsid core antigen (HCVc or c22-3). IgM rheumatoid factors, present in all patients, bound anti-HCV IgG in all six patients tested. Four patients received interferon alfa for 2 to 12 months; all had evidence of decreased HCV replication and improvement of their renal and liver disease. Chronic HCV infection is associated with cryoglobulinemia and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. The pathogenesis is unknown, but may relate to deposition within glomeruli of immune complexes containing HCV, anti-HCV IgG, and IgM rheumatoid factors.
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            Hepatitis G Virus — A True Hepatitis Virus or an Accidental Tourist?


              Author and article information

              Am J Nephrol
              American Journal of Nephrology
              S. Karger AG
              August 1999
              13 August 1999
              : 19
              : 4
              : 513-518
              aNephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation Department, North University Hospital, Saint-Etienne, and bResearch Group on Glomerulonephritides and Renal Transplantation, UPRES, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Etienne, France
              13509 Am J Nephrol 1999;19:513–518
              © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Figures: 4, References: 12, Pages: 6
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