Assessment of epidemiology and outcomes of adult patients with kidney-limited thrombotic microangiopathies

Kidney Int. 2024 Feb 29:S0085-2538(24)00170-4. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2024.02.014. Online ahead of print.


Thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA) are usually associated with hematological features (RH-TMA). The epidemiology of TMA limited to kidneys (RL-TMA) is unclear Therefore, patients with TMA and native kidney biopsies were identified during 2009-2022 in 20 French hospitals and results evaluated. RL-TMA was present in 341/757 (45%) patients and associated with lower creatinine levels (median 184 vs 346 μmol/L) than RH-TMA. RL-TMA resulted from virtually all identified causes, more frequently from anti-VEGF treatment and hematological malignancies but less frequently from shigatoxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), systemic sclerosis, gemcitabine and bacterial infection, and even less frequently when three or more causes/triggers were combined (RL-TMA: 5%; RH-TMA: 12%). RL-TMA was associated with significantly lower major cardiovascular events (10% vs 20%), kidney replacement therapy (23% vs 43%) and death (12% vs 20%) than RH-TMA during follow-up (median 28 months). Atypical HUS (aHUS) was found in 326 patients (RL-TMA: 43%, RH-TMA: 44%). Among the 69 patients with proven complement-mediated aHUS, eculizumab (anti-C5 therapy) was used in 43 (62%) (RL-TMA: 35%; RH-TMA: 71%). Among the 257 other patients with aHUS, including 51% with RL-TMA, eculizumab was used in 29 but with unclear effects of this treatment. Thus, RL-TMA represents a very high proportion of patients with TMA and results from virtually all known causes of TMA and includes 25% of patients with complement-mediated aHUS. Adverse outcomes of RL-TMA are lower compared to RH-TMA but remain significant. Anti-C5 therapy was rarely used in RL-TMA, even in proven complement-mediated aHUS, and its effects remain to be assessed.

Keywords: biopsy; epidemiology; kidney; malignant hypertension; monoclonal gammopathy; thrombotic microangiopathies.