Renal proximal tubular dysgenesis associated with severe neonatal hemosiderotic liver disease

Pediatr Pathol. May-Jun 1994;14(3):479-89. doi: 10.3109/15513819409024277.


We report the necropsy findings for three infants with the unusual combination of proximal renal tubular dysgenesis and severe congenital liver disease with excessive iron in several organs resembling neonatal hemochromatosis. Two of the infants were caucasian siblings and one was an Australian aborigine. One died in utero at 35 weeks of gestation and two died at 7 days. The liveborn infants presented with anuria and liver failure. The livers all showed marked loss of hepatocytes and replacement by pseudotubules in the collapsed lobules. The liveborn infants also showed giant cell transformation of hepatocytes, small regenerative nodules, cholestasis, and normal bile ducts. Absence of proximal renal convolutions was confirmed by epithelial membrane antigen positivity in nearly all tubules. In each family there was another sibling with congenital liver disease, fatal in one case, but no renal tubular dysgenesis. No infection or metabolic disease was uncovered in any of our patients, and the cause of the hepatocyte destruction was not determined. The combination in three infants of two rare congenital diseases could be genetic or acquired in utero from the same etiological agent. Alternatively, the absence of proximal convolutions could be secondary to hypoperfusion, perhaps because of shock due to extensive necrosis of hepatocytes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hemosiderosis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iron / analysis
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Kidney Diseases / congenital
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / abnormalities*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / pathology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Liver Diseases / congenital
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Male


  • Iron