Fibrillary glomerulonephritis associated with crescents as a therapeutic challenge

Am J Kidney Dis. 2002 Aug;40(2):420-5. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2002.34548.


Most cases of fibrillary glomerulonephritis (FG) terminate in end-stage renal disease within a few years. We report on two female patients (41 and 50 years old) with the diagnosis of FG associated with crescentic glomerulonephritis, a combination found in 20% to 25% of cases of FG. A broad spectrum of infectious disease and systemic immunologic disorders could be ruled out by specific assays. Both patients had severely impaired renal function, nephrotic syndrome, and hypertension. Based on the biopsy finding with necrotizing FG, treatment was started with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide. In both patients, renal function recovered markedly within 6 months of treatment, in one case remaining stable for 3.5 years. Whether or not cyclophosphamide treatment changed the course of the FG itself or counteracted the acute crescentic process cannot be determined from these two patients. Based on these promising preliminary findings and the poor prognosis of FG, however, we recommend cyclophosphamide treatment of patients with FG and additional crescentic glomerulonephritis. For a systematic evaluation of the therapeutic options in FG, a multicenter clinical trial should be conducted.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis / drug therapy*
  • Glomerulonephritis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide