Resurgence of membranous nephropathy in African Americans in inner city Chicago

Clin Kidney J. 2013 Aug;6(4):373-8. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sft057.


Background: It is well established that the incidence of focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS) increased from 1970-1990 to become the leading primary glomerular disease in patients of African descent.

Methods: To determine whether this trend has continued in the past years in Chicago, adult, native kidney biopsies from January 2001 to December 2011 at our hospital were reviewed and collected relevant clinical information in patients with a primary glomerular disease including FSGS, membranous nephropathy (MN), minimal change disease (MCD), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), and IgA nephropathy (IgAN).

Results: In the 204 patients analyzed, MN was the most prevalent (32.7%), followed by FSGS (29.7%), IgAN (15.8%), MCD (14.4%), and MPGN (4.5%). Patients with MN had the highest proteinuria (7.9 gms/d) and were significantly older, more edematous, hypoalbuminemic, and hypercholesterolemic than those with FSGS. In both African Americans and Hispanics, MN was the most prevalent primary glomerular lesion at 39.2% and 34% respectively.

Conclusions: Comparable in size to prior cohorts of African Americans and Hispanics, our report demonstrates a reversal in the incidence of FSGS and MN in both ethnic groups where MN is now more prevalent. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a reverse in the upward trend of the prevalence of FSGS in African Americans.

Keywords: African American; Hispanic; focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; membranous nephropathy.