Late Development of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Patients with Glomerular “Fingerprint” Deposits

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Two patients presenting with nephrotic syndrom but without evidence of collagen vascular disease had organized glomerular immune deposits with a “fingerprint” pattern. This finding has been previously associated with lupus nephritis and, in our institution, has been seen in 6% of the biopsy specimens from patients with lupus nephritis. Clinical signs and symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus in these two patients did not develop until 2 and 5 years later, respectively. The cases of these patients suggest that glomerular deposits with a fingerprint pattern may be a specific marker for lupus erythematosus even when overt clinical features of this disease are lacking. Patients with this finding on renal biopsy should have an extended follow-up for possible development of lupus erythematosus.

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