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Goodpasture syndrome manifesting as nephrotic-range proteinuria with anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody seronegativity: A case report.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 September 26
RATIONALE: The Goodpasture syndrome is an extremely rare disease, with renal and pulmonary manifestations, and is mediated by anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibodies. Renal pathological changes are mainly characterized by glomerular crescent formation and linear immunofluorescent staining for immunoglobulin G on the GBM. There are few reports on the atypical course of the syndrome involving serum-negative anti-GBM antibodies. Therefore, we present a case of Goodpasture syndrome that presented with nephrotic-range proteinuria and was seronegative for anti-GBM antibodies.

PATIENT CONCERNS: A 38-year-old Chinese man presented with a lung lesion that was discovered by physical examination a month prior to presentation. The chief concern was occasional hemoptysis without fever, cough, chest pain, and edema.

DIAGNOSES: Laboratory testing revealed that the urinary protein level and urine erythrocyte count were 7.4 g/24 hours and 144/high-power field (HPF), respectively. Serological testing for anti-GBM antibodies was negative. Chest computed tomography revealed multiple exudative lesions in both lungs, indicating alveolar infiltration and hemorrhage. Electronic bronchoscopy and pathological examination of the alveolar lavage fluid indicated no abnormalities. However, kidney biopsy suggested cellular crescent formation and segmental necrosis of the globuli, with linear IgG and complement C3 deposition on the GBM. These findings were consistent with the diagnosis of anti-GBM antibody nephritis.

INTERVENTIONS: The patient underwent 7 sessions of double filtration plasmapheresis. He was also administered with intravenous methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide. After renal function stabilization, he was discharged under an immunosuppressive regimen comprising of glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamides.

OUTCOMES: Three months later, follow-up examination revealed that the 24-hour urine protein had increased to 13 g. Furthermore, the urine erythrocyte count was 243/HPF. After a 6-month follow-up, the patient achieved partial remission, with a proteinuria level of 3.9 g/24 hours and a urine erythrocyte count of 187/HPF.

LESSONS: This extremely rare case of Goodpasture syndrome manifested with seronegativity for anti-GBM antibodies and nephrotic-range proteinuria. Our findings emphasize the importance of renal biopsy for the clinical diagnosis of atypical cases. Furthermore, because renal involvement achieved only partial remission despite therapy, early detection and active treatment of the Goodpasture syndrome is necessary to improve the prognosis of patients.

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