Nephrotic syndrome due to thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) as the first manifestation of human immunodeficiency virus infection: recovery before antiretroviral therapy without specific treatment against TMA

Clin Nephrol. 2001 May;55(5):404-7.


Background: Among the possible renal complications that can develop a human immunodeficiency virus- (HIV) infected patient, thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is one of them. This is a type of vascular lesion more common in HIV patients than in normal population, and sometimes it can be the first manifestation of the HIV infection.

Methods: We present a patient with TMA in whom the subsequent investigation to find the cause of TMA revealed HIV infection and Giardia Lamblia in stool.

Results: Before antiretroviral therapy was started the patient began to show recovery of the hemolytic anemia, recovery of the nephrotic syndrome and partial remission of the proteinuria, so that he did not receive specific therapy for TMA.

Conclusions: HIV infection should be suspected in patients presenting with TMA, and a HIV test should be routinely performed as part of the initial clinical evaluation of TMA. If the patients have not developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, the prognosis of TMA is equal to non-infected ones.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / complications
  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / diagnosis*
  • AIDS-Associated Nephropathy / pathology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / complications
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Hemolytic / complications
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Giardiasis / complications
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV-1*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / complications*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / blood supply
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / complications


  • Anti-HIV Agents