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      Treatment of fibrillary glomerulonephritis with rituximab: a 12-month pilot study

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          Abstract

          Background

          Fibrillary glomerulonephritis (FGN) is a rare type of glomerulonephritis with poor prognosis, with no known effective therapies available for treatment. The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab in treatment of patients with FGN and to investigate the effect of rituximab on DNAJB9 levels.

          Methods

          This was a pilot prospective clinical trial in which patients with idiopathic FGN were treated with two courses of rituximab (1 g each) 2 weeks apart at the beginning and then again at 6 months. Primary outcome was defined as preservation of kidney function at 12 months with stable or increased creatinine clearance. Secondary outcome was defined as achieving complete remission (CR) defined as proteinuria <300 mg/24 h or partial remission (PR) with proteinuria <3 g/24 h and at least 50% reduction in the proteinuria. DNAJB9 levels were also measured in the serum at baseline, 6 and 12 months.

          Results

          The creatinine clearance did not change significantly during this time, from 47.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline to 43.7 mL/min/1.73 m2 during follow-up (P = 0.15). Proteinuria declined from 4.43 (1.6–5.53) g/24 h at baseline to 1.9 (0.46–5.26) g/24 h at 12 months but did not reach significance (P = 0.06). None of the patients reached CR, and 3 of the 11 achieved PR. There was no change in the DNAJB9 levels following treatment with rituximab. The most common adverse event was nasal congestion, fatigue and muscle cramps.

          Conclusions

          Treatment of patients with two courses of rituximab over a span of 6 months was associated with stabilization of renal function but did not result in a significant change in proteinuria and with no change in the DNAJB9 levels.

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          Most cited references 13

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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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            Fibrillary glomerulonephritis: a report of 66 cases from a single institution.

            Fibrillary glomerulonephritis (FGN) is a rare primary glomerular disease. Most previously reported cases were idiopathic. To better define the clinical-pathologic spectrum and prognosis, we report the largest single-center series with the longest follow-up. The characteristics of 66 FGN patients who were seen at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, between 1993 and 2010 are provided. The mean age at diagnosis was 53 years. Ninety-five percent of patients were white, and the female:male ratio was 1.2:1. Underlying malignancy (most commonly carcinoma), dysproteinemia, or autoimmune disease (most commonly Crohn's disease, SLE, Graves' disease, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), were present in 23, 17, and 15% of patients, respectively. Presentation included proteinuria (100%), nephrotic syndrome (38%), renal insufficiency (66%), hematuria (52%), and hypertension (71%). The most common histologic pattern was mesangial proliferative/sclerosing GN followed by membranoproliferative GN. During an average of 52.3 months of follow-up for 61 patients with available data, 13% had complete or partial remission, 43% had persistent renal dysfunction, and 44% progressed to ESRD. The disease recurred in 36% of 14 patients who received a kidney transplant. Independent predictors of ESRD by multivariate analysis were older age, higher creatinine and proteinuria at biopsy, and higher percentage of global glomerulosclerosis. Underlying malignancy, dysproteinemia, or autoimmune diseases are not uncommon in patients with FGN. Prognosis is poor, although remission may occur in a minority of patients without immunosuppressive therapy. Age, degree of renal impairment at diagnosis, and degree of glomerular scarring are predictors of renal survival. © 2011 by the American Society of Nephrology
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              Morphologic and clinical features of fibrillary glomerulonephritis versus immunotactoid glomerulopathy.

              Renal diseases characterized by Congo red-negative extracellular fibrillary deposits, either organized arrays of larger, microtubular fibrils (immunotactoid glomerulopathy [IT]) or smaller, randomly organized fibrils (fibrillary glomerulonephritis), have been recognized recently. The clinical significance, if any, of the distinction of these patterns has not been determined. On review of all renal biopsy specimens evaluated in a private referral renal pathology laboratory over the last 11 years, 26 cases with fibrillary glomerulonephritis pattern were identified and compared with our six most recent cases with the IT pattern. The fibrillary glomerulonephritis patients, 17 women and nine men, had an average age of 50 +/- 2 years and contributed 1% of the renal biopsy specimens examined. All patients had marked proteinuria and 16 had microscopic hematuria. Follow-up at 23 +/- 5 months in 25 of these patients revealed end-stage renal disease in 11 patients (44%) and one death due to renal failure. End-stage renal disease developed an average of 10 +/- 5 months after biopsy. One patient developed multiple myeloma. Twenty-four renal biopsy specimens showed proliferation, with crescents in seven. Immunofluorescence showed moderate to intense staining for immunoglobulin G and weaker staining for C3, in a predominantly mesangial pattern, with weaker glomerular basement membrane (GBM) staining, corresponding to electron microscopic deposit localization. In four cases, linear GBM staining by immunofluorescence corresponded to extensive subendothelial or transmembranous deposits. The average fibril diameter was 14.0 +/- 0.5 nm (range, 10.4 to 18.4 nm). Immunotactoid glomerulopathy patients (three women and three men) were significantly older, 62 +/- 2 years (P < 0.025). All had marked proteinuria, with microscopic hematuria in two patients. Associated hematopoietic diseases were present in four patients, with monoclonal proteins and/or abnormal plasma cell proliferation in three. One patient died of nonrenal causes. The remaining five patients have stable renal function at 20 +/- 5 months. Biopsy specimens showed proliferative (n = 3) or membranous-like (n = 3) patterns. Immunofluorescence showed immunoglobulin G and weaker C3 staining in a granular GBM pattern, with lesser mesangial staining. The microtubular fibril diameter was on average 43.2 +/- 10.3 nm (range, 16.8 to 90.0 nm). Thus, fibrillary glomerulonephritis and IT can be separated based on ultrastructurally distinct features. Patients with fibrillary glomerulonephritis are less likely than those with IT to have associated hematopoietic disease and also have poorer renal survival. We propose that classification based on these morphologic differences appears to have clinical significance.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0931-0509
                1460-2385
                July 02 2020
                July 02 2020
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
                [2 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
                [3 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Lankenau Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
                Article
                10.1093/ndt/gfaa065
                © 2020

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