Spontaneous improvement in a case of C1q nephropathy

Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 May;35(5):E22. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(00)70287-3.


A 17-year-old girl showed mild proteinuria accompanied by hematuria and mild hypocomplementemia. A light microscopic study of the first renal biopsy specimen showed diffuse mild to moderate mesangial proliferation and thickening of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). An immunofluorescence study showed dominant positive staining (3+) of IgG and C1q in the glomerular mesangium and capillary loop. Staining for C3 and fibrinogen was weak or 1+. Staining for IgA and IgM was negative. Electron-dense deposits were present in the mesangial area and also in the subepithelial, subendothelial, and intramembranous space. Urinary findings improved after dipyridamole treatment. The second renal biopsy, which was performed 5 years later, showed histological improvements, and various pictures of washing-out of deposits were also noted in an electron microscopic study. However, dominant positive staining for IgG and C1q was persistent in an immunofluorescence study. The glomerulopathy of this case belongs in the criteria of neither membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis nor lupus nephritis but could be designated as C1q nephropathy. This is the first report of a histological improvement in C1q nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Basement Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Biopsy
  • Complement C1q / analysis*
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / ultrastructure


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Complement C1q