Viral DNA in microdissected renal biopsy tissue from HIV infected patients with nephrotic syndrome

Kidney Int. 1993 Jun;43(6):1347-52. doi: 10.1038/ki.1993.189.


Focal glomerulosclerosis (FGS) has been considered as HIV-associated nephropathy, a specific renal complication of infection. To determine whether renal disease in HIV infected patients has one highly prevalent pathologic expression, and whether renal parenchymal viral genomic incorporation affects pathologic outcome, we reviewed renal biopsies performed at our center. Twenty-eight HIV infected patients with nephrotic range proteinuria underwent renal biopsy for diagnosis of renal disease: 85.7% led homosexual or bisexual lifestyles; 10.7% admitted to intravenous drug use; and 85.7% were Black. Only 53.6% had FGS; 28.6% had glomerulonephritis. Two patients had diabetic renal disease; 93.3% of patients with FGS and 87.5% of patients with glomerulonephritis were Black. Paraffin slides of twenty-two of the patients' renal biopsies were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of HIV DNA, using primers and probes to the gag gene, detected by liquid hybridization and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Twenty-one of the twenty-two evaluated tissue specimens showed the presence of HIV DNA. Microdissection studies of glomeruli, tubules, interstitial cells and infiltrating inflammatory cells showed the presence of HIV genome in all but interstitial cells. HIV infected patients without renal disease also had positive PCR evaluations of microdissected tissue, while non-infected patients were all negative. We conclude that although focal glomerulosclerosis is the most common renal pathologic lesion in patients with HIV infection and nephrotic range proteinuria, glomerulonephritis is a relatively frequent finding. HIV genome is present in renal tissue in HIV infected subjects with nephrotic range proteinuria, but is also found in HIV infected subjects without nephropathy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Genes, Viral*
  • HIV / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / microbiology*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / complications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / microbiology*


  • DNA, Viral