Primary ultrastructural diagnosis of cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis

R. Tubbs, G. N. Gephardt, L. Calabrese, J. T. McMahon, P. M. Hall, R. Valenzuela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A 58-year-old woman suffering from epistasis was found to be hypertensive. Hypocomplementemia associated with normal serum creatinine level, erythrocytosis, microscopic hematuria, proteinuria, and normal serum immunoglobulin levels and immunoelectrophoresis results led to a renal biopsy. Light microscopy disclosed mesangial hypercellularity and accumulation of eosinophilic material in capillary loops and in the mesangium. Immunomicroscopy disclosed coarsely granular to globular deposition of IgG, IgM and C3 in a similar distribution. Electron microscopy demonstrated electron-dense mesangial and subendothelial deposits consisting of interlacing fibrillar bundles associated with infiltration of acute inflammatory cells characteristics of cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis. After the biopsy, the presence of circulating IgG-IgM cryoglobulins was documented. Substructure of the in vitro cryoprecipitate and the immune complexes in the kidney was very similar. These observations illustrate the importance of continued routine ultrastructural assessment in evaluation of renal biopsy material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-477
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 26 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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