Structural-functional relationships in Alport syndrome

K. H. Kim, Y. Kim, M. C. Gubler, M. W. Steffes, P. H. Lane, C. E. Kashtan, J. T. Crosson, S. M. Mauer

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32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Renal morphometric analysis was performed in 15 (13 male) Alport syndrome patients ages 4 to 26 years, along with 10 controls ages 3 to 26 years, to better understand the structural basis of renal dysfunction in Alport syndrome. The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) width class frequencies of controls were normally distributed; those of Alport syndrome patients were slightly skewed, especially Howard thicker classes, although there was also an increase in the proportion of thinner classes. Mesangial volume fraction was not different between Alport syndrome patients (0.2 ± 0.09) and controls (0.19 ± 0.04). There was an inverse correlation between mesangial volume fraction and creatinine clearance in Alport syndrome patients (r = -0.72, P < 0.01); however, the creatinine clearances in Alport syndrome patients were far less than in insulin-dependent diabetic patients with similar mesangial volume fraction. Similarly, there was no significant difference in the surface density of the peripheral GBM (in square micrometers per cubic micrometer) in Alport syndrome patients (0.12 ± 0.04) versus controls (0.13 ± 0.02). The surface density of the peripheral GBM correlated with creatinine clearance in Alport syndrome patients (r = 0.71, P < 0.01). However, there was a greater reduction in creatinine clearance as related to declining the surface density of the peripheral GBM in Alport syndrome than in diabetic patients. The cortical interstitial volume fraction was highly inversely correlated with creatinine clearance in Alport syndrome patients (r = -0.85, P < 0.01). Global glomerular sclerosis was 0% in five and 5 to 61% in nine Alport syndrome patients and correlated inversely with creatinine clearance (r = -0.74, P < 0.01). However, the creatinine clearance was lower in Alport syndrome than in diabetic patients with similar cortical interstitial volume fraction and percent glomerular sclerosis. There was no significant difference in an index of glomerular number between Alport syndrome patients and controls. Thus, changes in mesangial volume fraction, cortical interstitial volume fraction, percent glomerular sclerosis, and surface density of the peripheral GBM in Alport syndrome patients only partially account for the reduction in creatinine clearance. It was speculated that decreased glomerular capillary wall hydraulic conductivity in Alport syndrome could explain many of these observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1659-1668
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Volume5
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • end-stage renal failure
  • glomerular basement membrane
  • interstitium
  • mesangium
  • morphometry

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