Collapsing glomerulopathy: a cause of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema

Am J Kidney Dis. 2002 Sep;40(3):E10. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2002.34935.


Collapsing glomerulopathy is a pathologic diagnosis characterized by obliteration of glomerular capillary lumina, seen most commonly as a primary glomerular disease in young black men. A secondary form with almost identical pathologic features is described in association with human immunodeficiency virus infection. The disease is characterized by heavy proteinuria with variable renal insufficiency at the onset followed by rapid progression to end-stage renal disease with no documented effective therapy. We describe a patient who presented with systemic manifestations, including fever, acute renal failure with massive proteinuria, and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. Renal biopsy showed classic collapsing glomerulopathy. All known causes of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema were ruled out. The pulmonary syndrome resolved, but the renal disease progressed to end-stage renal disease. We propose consideration of collapsing glomerulopathy in the differential diagnosis of any patient presenting with a multisystem disease including acute renal failure and pulmonary edema.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / complications*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / diagnosis
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / blood supply*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / drug effects
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteinuria / drug therapy
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • Pulmonary Edema / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*