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[Renal disorders associated with monoclonal gammopathies: diagnostic and therapeutic progress]

Frank Bridoux, Sébastien Delbes, Christophe Sirac, François Pourreau, Matthieu Puyade, Estelle Desport, Arnaud Jaccard, Jean-Paul Fermand, Guy Touchard
La Presse Médicale 2012, 41 (3 Pt 1): 276-89
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Various renal disorders are associated with monoclonal gammopathies, secondary to tissue deposition or precipitation of a monoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) or a fragment thereof (isolated Ig light chain or heavy chain). They are classified according to the localization of renal lesions, either glomerular or tubular and to the pattern of ultrastructural organization of Ig deposits. Renal disease in monoclonal gammopathies may be isolated, or associated with various systemic symptoms particularly in AL amyloidosis, Randall-type monoclonal Ig deposition disease and monoclonal cryoglobulinemias. Except for myeloma cast nephropathy, which occurs in the setting of high-mass myeloma and is recognized after electrophoretic analysis of proteinuria and AL amyloidosis, which diagnosis is usually made after pathological examination of non-invasive tissue specimens (i.e. abdominal fat or minor salivary glands), a kidney biopsy is required to identify the other types of renal disorders associated with monoclonal gammopathies and to estimate renal prognosis. Renal pathological diagnosis is difficult and relies on careful examination of kidney biopsy samples, by light microscopy, immunofluorescence studies using conjugates specific for Ig light and heavy chains, IgG sub-classes and heavy chain constant domains and by electron microscopy. In some cases, additional studies are required to identify the nature of deposits, such as immuno-electron microscopy or mass spectrometric-based proteomic analysis after laser dissection. In patients with renal disorders related to Ig light chain precipitation or deposition (myeloma cast nephropathy, AL amyloidosis, Randall-type light chain deposition disease), measurement of serum free light chains at baseline and throughout follow-up is mandatory to evaluate clonal response to chemotherapy. A more than or equal to 50% decrease in serum free light chain levels is associated with increased renal and patient survival. In AL amyloidosis, serum levels of markers of cardiac disease (NT-proBNP and troponin) are also closely associated with prognosis. Efficient chemotherapy, tailored to the underlying plasma cell or lymphoproliferative disorder and adapted to renal function, should be promptly introduced, even in the absence of overt malignant haematological disease. Renal prognosis and patient survival (particularly in AL amyloidosis and cast nephropathy) are closely associated with the rapid achievement of an haematological response. The combination of melphalan plus dexamethasone (MDex) is currently used as first-line chemotherapy in systemic AL amyloidosis. Bortezomib-based regimens are commonly employed as first-line treatment in myeloma cast nephropathy and Randall-type monoclonal Ig deposition disease and as second line therapy in AL amyloidosis patients with advanced cardiomyopathy or refractory to previous chemotherapy. Solid organ transplantation (heart and kidney) should be considered in patients with AL amyloidosis or Randall-type monoclonal Ig deposition disease and advanced cardiac or renal failure. Prolonged graft and patient survival may be obtained, providing that recipients do not have other severe organ involvement or symptomatic myeloma and that haematological remission has been achieved with chemotherapy before or after organ transplantation.

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