A Case of the nephrotic syndrome in bone marrow transplantation recipient, histologically showing overlapped glomerular lesions of thrombotic microangiopathy and membranous nephropathy

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Nephrotic syndrome (NS) rarely occurs in post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients but represents the renal manifestation of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Membranous nephropathy (MN) accounts for almost two thirds of post-HSCT NS and is caused by immune complex deposition. Renal thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) without fulfillment of clinical criteria for TMA has been underreported because of reduced opportunity for histological examination. However, renal TMA has recently been reported in association with GVHD and humoral immunological reactions. Although both MN and TMA after HSCT are associated with GVHD and immunological abnormalities, these diseases are exceptionally coexistent in renal biopsy specimens. We herein describe a case of post-HSCT NS, histologically showing overlapped lesions of TMA and MN. Renal biopsy specimen after presentation of NS revealed early stage MN and TMA with evidence of chronicity. TMA was thought to have preceded MN, and renal biopsy at the phase of pre-nephrotic proteinuria might reveal earlier histological changes of isolated renal TMA. Detection of subclinical renal TMA earlier by spontaneous renal biopsy can help prevent progression of renal injury or overlapping of other renal pathologies. We also demonstrated Th2 predominant intraglomerular infiltration of lymphocytes by immunohistochemistry.

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