Background: Pulmonary-renal syndrome associated with anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibodies, also known as Goodpasture's syndrome, is a rare but acute and life-threatening condition. One third of patients presenting as anti-GBM antibody positive pulmonary-renal syndrome or rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis are also tested positive for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA). Whilst anti-GBM disease is considered a non-relapsing condition, the long-term course of double-positive patients is less predictable.
Case presentation: We report a patient with such dual positivity, who presented with pulmonary hemorrhage, crescentic glomerulonephritis and membranous nephropathy. Plasmapheresis in combination with immunosuppressive therapy led to a rapid remission but the disease relapsed after two years. The serum of the patient was tested positive for antibodies to human lysosomal membrane protein 2 (hLAMP2), a novel autoantigen in patients with active small-vessel vasculitis (SVV). The anti-hLAMP2 antibody levels correlated positively with clinical disease activity in this patient.
Conclusion: We hypothesize that this antibody may indicate a clinical course similar to ANCA-associated vasculitis in double-positive patients. However, this needs to be confirmed on comprehensive patient cohorts.