Podocyte injury predicts prognosis in patients with iga nephropathy using a small amount of renal biopsy tissue

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2001;24(2):99-104. doi: 10.1159/000054214.


To predict the progression in patients with IgA nephropathy, we analyzed glomerular lesions except for sclerosis, adhesion and/or crescents in 34 patients with this disease by morphometric analysis. Levels of urinary protein excretion (UP), creatinine clearance (Ccr), serum creatinine (sCr) and mean blood pressure (MBP) at the time of renal biopsy were used as the clinical parameters. The slope of 1/sCr was also used as a prognostic parameter. Renal specimens were obtained by echo-guided biopsy. In PAS-stained light microscopic renal sections, three mid sections of open glomeruli were selected and photographed. Stereologic estimation was performed as follows: absolute values of glomerular volume (V(G)), glomerular surface area (S(G)), podocyte and nonpodocyte cell number per glomerulus (N(G(pod)) and N(G(Non-pod))), glomerular surface area covered by one podocyte S(G)/N(G(pod))) and glomerular volume occupied by one nonpodocyte cell (V(G)/N(G(Non-pod))). There was a significant correlation between the levels of UP and the change of podocyte injury parameters (N(G(pod)) and S(G)/N(G(pod))) or N(G(Non-pod)). N(G(pod)) was negatively but S(G)/N(G(pod)) and N(G(Non-pod)) were positively correlated with UP. S(G)/N(G(pod)) or N(G(Non-pod)) was correlated with MBP. N(G(pod)), S(G)/N(G(pod)), N(G(Non-pod)), UP or MBP was significantly correlated with the slope of 1/sCr. High specificity was observed for N(G(pod)), S(G)/N(G(pod)) and MBP. High sensitivity was also observed for N(G(Non-pod)) and UP. It appears that podocyte injury might provide additional prognostic information in patients with IgA nephropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Surface Extensions / ultrastructure
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Creatinine