The features in IgA-dominant infection-related glomerulonephritis distinct from IgA nephropathy: a single-center study

Takaya Handa, Hiroko Kakita, Yu Tateishi, Tomomi Endo, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Toshiro Katayama, Tatsuo Tsukamoto, Eri Muso
Clinical and Experimental Nephrology 2018, 22 (5): 1116-1127

BACKGROUND: IgA-dominant infection-related glomerulonephritis (IgA-IRGN) is a unique form of IRGN, which needs to be distinguished from IgA nephropathy (IgAN).

METHODS: Thirteen patients with IgA-IRGN (IgA-IRGN group) and 122 with IgAN (IgAN group) were selected from 1788 patients who underwent kidney biopsy between 2000 and 2015 in Kitano Hospital. Data selected included clinical and serological parameters; light and electron microscope findings; immunofluorescence findings; and prognostic parameters like renal and overall survival and creatinine increase by > 50%. In addition, a 26-patient IgAN cohort (matching-IgAN), matching with IgA-IRGN group with respect to age, sex, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and proteinuria was segregated for comparison.

RESULTS: Compared to IgAN group, IgA-IRGN group were older, had lower hemoglobin, higher CRP, lower eGFR, heavier proteinuria, lower serum albumin, and higher serum IgG and IgA levels (p < 0.05). Endocapillary hypercellularity, deposition of immune complexes along the glomerular capillary wall, and subendothelial and subepithelial electron dense deposits were more frequently observed (p < 0.05); and they were more susceptible to renal dysfunction and poorer prognosis. After propensity score-matching, serum albumin was significantly lower in the IgA-IRGN group. Significantly subendothelial and subepithelial deposits were frequently observed in this group. Matching-IgAN group showed relatively advanced sclerotic lesions with more global sclerosis and fibrous crescent.

CONCLUSION: Local inflammation involved glomerular capillary wall in IgA-IRGN, in contrast to relatively chronic and sclerotic renal lesion in IgAN, might result in poorer prognosis in former, even under indistinguishable condition of deteriorated renal function and proteinuria.

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