Dense intramembranous deposit disease: New pathologic features

R. K. Sibley, Youngki Kim

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The pathologic and clinical features of 16 patients with dense intramembranous deposit disease are described. By light microscopy nine patients had membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, five had focal segmental necrotizing glumerulonephritis with segmental epithelial crescents, four of whom also had a prominent tubulointerstitial nephritis, and two had focal segmental mesangial proliferative glumerulonephritis. The patients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and one with focal segmental mesangial proliferative glomuerlonephritis had easily recognizable dense intramembranous deposits by optical microscopy. The patients with focal segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis and one with focal segmental mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis did not have recognizable peripheral loop dense intramembranous deposits even under oil immersion. In patients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis ultrastructural examination revealed extensive capillary wall dense intramembranous deposits. Immunofluorescence revealed diffuse linear staining along the capillary walls and 'mesangial rings' of C3. In the patients with focal segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis and one with focal segmental mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis the immunofluorescence study suggested a diagnosis of dense intramembranous deposit disease because of the segmental double linear staining of the capillary wall and 'mesangial rings' of C3, but the diagnosis was only established by fine structural analysis where occasional peripheral loop and prominent paramesangial basement membrane dense intramembranous deposits and mesangial nodular deposits were identified. Clinical features prior to biopsy included nephrotic syndrome in eight patients, an acute nephritic syndrome in six patients, and asymptomatic proteinuria and hematuria in two patients. Five of six patients with an acute nephritic presentation had focal segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis. The acute renal insufficiency in these patients was transitory and appeared to be related to a prominent tubulointerstitial nephritis present in four of the biopsy specimens. Depressed serum C3 levels were present in patients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis; patients with focal segmental lesions were normocomplenentemic. Because of the 'atypical' light microscopic features in six of our patients, we support the suggestion that membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, type II be replaced by the term 'dense intramembranous deposit disease' for this glomerulopathy with variable clinical and histologic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-670
Number of pages11
JournalKidney international
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1984

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1981. This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant A110704.

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