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Podocytopathies related to either COVID-19 infection or its vaccination, our experience and literature review.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects several organs including the kidney resulting in acute kidney injury (AKI) and variants of podocytopathies. From the beginning to the middle period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have collected eight renal biopsies with various renal diseases including 4 podocytopathies. In addition, from the middle period to the near end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen two of the patients who developed nephrotic syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination. Three of 4 podocytopathies were collapsing glomerulopathy (also called collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) and the fourth was a minimal change disease (MCD). Two of three collapsing glomerulopathy were found in African American patients, one of who was tested positive for having the high-risk allele APOL-1 G1. In addition, the two renal biopsies showed either MCD or replaced MCD following COVID-19 vaccination. MCD can be a rare complication following COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 vaccination, raising the question if there are similar antigens induced by the infection or by the vaccination that trigger the MCD. This article reports our experience of diagnosing podocytopathies related to either COVID-19 infection or its vaccination and provides a literature review regarding the incidence and potential pathophysiology in the field.

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