[A case of silicosis with MPO-ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis and alveolar hemorrhage]

Nihon Jinzo Gakkai Shi. 2001 May;43(4):351-6.
[Article in Japanese]


A 63-year-old man was referred to our hospital for rapid deterioration of his renal function. He had worked as a metal founder for more than 40 years, and had been diagnosed as having silicosis. Laboratory data on admission showed severe anemia, thrombocytopenia, and end-stage renal failure (BUN 88.8 mg/dl, serum creatinine 9.0 mg/dl). Myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody(MPO-ANCA) was also detected in his sera. On the next day after admission, he complained of sudden dyspnea and hemoptysis. Mechanical ventilation with pure oxygen was insufficient to improve hypoxia without concomitant use of percutaneous cardio-pulmonary support(PCPS) and continuous hemofiltration(CHF). We diagnosed his condition as MPO-ANCA-associated rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis with diffuse alveolar hemorrhage. Treatment with plasmapheresis, pulse methylprednisolone and pulse cyclophosphamide effectively improved his hemoptysis as well as chest X-ray findings and blood gas analysis. However on his later clinical course, he was complicated with superimposed complex infection and passed away. Autopsy findings showed crescentic glomerulonephritis in the kidneys and silica nodules in the lungs. Recently it has been postulated that some relationship exists between ANCA-associated(especially MPO-ANCA-associated) glomerulonephritis and silica exposure. The reported cases of glomerulonephritis in the patients with silica exposure showed a rapidly progressive clinical course and pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis in their histology. Gregorini et al. reported that 12 of 37 (32%) male patients with RPGN had either silicosis or significant silica exposure, and 7 of 8 patients examined were ANCA-positive(6 of 7 were MPO-ANCA-positive). Therefore silica seems to cause glomerulonephritis by disrupting the immune response. Including this case mentioned above, we have experienced 10 cases of MPO-ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis, at least 3 cases out of which had suffered from silicosis in the past(30%). These results indicate that silicosis should be considered a relevant pathogen of MPO-ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis beyond the race.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / analysis*
  • Glomerulonephritis / etiology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peroxidase / immunology*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / pathology
  • Silicosis / complications*


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Peroxidase