Patterns of glomerular injury in kidneys infiltrated by lymphoplasmacytic neoplasms

Hum Pathol. 2011 Jun;42(6):896-903. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2010.09.009. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


Glomerular injury may occur as a result of immune dysfunction in patients with remote lymphoplasmacytic neoplasms. Glomerular injury concurrent with direct infiltration of the kidney by lymphoplasmacytic neoplasms has been reported but is not extensively characterized. We identified 18 patients, all presenting with elevated serum creatinine and many with proteinuria, whose renal biopsies showed direct involvement of kidney by a variety of neoplasms, including chronic leukocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (n = 7), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 6), multiple myeloma (n = 4), or B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (n = 1). In 10 cases (55%), there was coexistent glomerular pathology: 5 of these cases, including glomerulonephritis with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis-like pattern of injury (n = 4) and membranous nephropathy (n = 1), featured deposition of immune complexes; 2 demonstrated deposition of monoclonal immunoglobulin components: λ light chain amyloidosis (n = 1) and light chain deposition disease (n = 1); 2 showed minimal change disease; and, in 1 case, there was focal crescentic pauci-immune-type glomerulonephritis. In addition, 1 biopsy revealed diabetic nephropathy and 3 showed nonspecific ischemic changes. In the remaining 4 cases, there were no significant glomerular abnormalities. In 11 cases (61%), the diagnosis of lymphoproliferative disease was established following the kidney biopsy. Our study indicates that lymphoplasmacytic neoplasms may be first diagnosed in renal biopsies performed for evaluation of renal dysfunction with or without proteinuria. Concurrent glomerular injury may be a direct result of the lymphoplasmacytic disorder through a paraprotein deposition process resulting in amyloid or monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition disease, or may be caused indirectly through immune-mediated mechanisms, as in the cases of glomerulonephritis with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis-like pattern of injury, membranous nephropathy, and possibly minimal change disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / immunology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology*
  • Leukemic Infiltration / pathology*
  • Lymphoma / immunology
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology
  • Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology