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A closer look: ultrastructural evaluation of high-risk progression IgA nephropathy.

Ultrastructural Pathology 2023 September 13
This retrospective, cross-sectional study sought to examine the ultrastructural characteristics of glomerular lesions using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and their relationship with the high risk of progression phenotype defined by KDIGO guideline as proteinuria ≥1 g/24 hours despite 3 months of optimized supportive care. We analyzed 81 IgAN patients (median age 41 years, 67% male, eGFR 43.8 mL/min, proteinuria 1.04 g/day); 42 (52%) of them had high risk of progression. There were no differences in terms of age, sex, comorbidities, eGFR, and hematuria between the two groups. High-risk patients more often had segmental glomerulosclerosis (29% vs 8%, p 0.01) in optical microscopy, while in TEM had more frequent podocyte hypertrophy (62% vs 26%, p 0.001) and podocyte foot process detachment from the glomerular basement membrane (19% vs 8%, p 0.05), more often thicker (19% vs 5%, p 0.05) and duplicated (26% vs 10%, p 0.05) glomerular basement membrane, and the presence of subendothelial and subepithelial deposits (31% vs 13%, p 0.05). However, in multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, only podocyte hypertrophy (OR 3.14; 95%CI 1.12, 8.79) was an independent risk factor for high-risk progression in IgAN. These findings highlight the importance of podocytopathy in IgAN progression.

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