Monoclonal Gammopathy-Related Kidney Diseases

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2022 Mar;29(2):86-102.e1. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2022.01.004.


Monoclonal gammopathies occur secondary to a broad range of clonal B lymphocyte or plasma cell disorders, producing either whole or truncated monoclonal immunoglobulins. The kidneys are often affected by these monoclonal proteins, and, although not mutually exclusive, can involve the glomeruli, tubules, interstitium, and vasculature. The nephrotoxic potential of these monoclonal proteins is dependent on a variety of physicochemical characteristics that are responsible for the diverse clinicopathologic manifestations, including glomerular diseases with organized deposits, glomerular diseases with granular deposits, and other lesions, such as C3 glomerulopathy and thrombotic microangiopathy with unique pathophysiologic features. The diseases that involve primarily the tubulointerstitial and vascular compartments are light chain cast nephropathy, light chain proximal tubulopathy, crystal-storing histiocytosis, and crystalglobulin-induced nephropathy with distinct acute and chronic clinicopathologic features. The diagnosis of a monoclonal gammopathy-related kidney disease is established by identification of an underlying active or more commonly, low-grade hematologic malignancy, serologic evidence of a monoclonal gammopathy when detectable, and most importantly, monoclonal protein-induced pathologic lesions seen in a kidney biopsy, confirming the association with the monoclonal protein. Establishing a diagnosis may be challenging at times, particularly in the absence of an overt hematologic malignancy, with or without monoclonal gammopathy, such as proliferative glomerulonephritis with monoclonal immunoglobulin deposits. Overall, the treatment is directed against the underlying hematologic disorder and the potential source of the monoclonal protein.

Keywords: Dysproteinemia; Kidney disease; Monoclonal gammopathy; Monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance; Monoclonal protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glomerulonephritis* / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis* / etiology
  • Glomerulonephritis* / therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / complications
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Kidney Diseases* / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases* / therapy
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Paraproteinemias* / complications
  • Paraproteinemias* / diagnosis
  • Paraproteinemias* / therapy