Renal glomerular lesions in unselected patients with cirrhosis undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation

Pathology. 1995 Jul;27(3):237-46. doi: 10.1080/00313029500169053.


Renal biopsies were obtained from 23 patients at the time of orthotopic liver transplantation. Twelve biopsies showed minor glomerular abnormalities, 2 exhibited IgA nephropathy and one showed mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis type I. The remaining 8 patients had glomerular lesions diagnosed as hepatic glomerulosclerosis (HGS). Immunofluorescence, available in 6 of the 8 biopsies with HGS, revealed granular deposits of immunoglobulins and complement in glomerular capillary walls and/or the mesangium. IgA was seen in 5 biopsies with HGS, but the staining for this protein was no more intense than that for the other immunoglobulins in 4 of these. Electron microscopy in HGS revealed partial mesangial interposition, hypertophy of mesangial and endothelial cells, granular material in a widened subendothelial space, slender projections of endothelial cytoplasm extending into the subendothelial space, and clusters of vesicles in the mesangium and glomerular capillary walls. These ultrastructural abnormalities have not hitherto been reported as a group of associated pathological changes. The renal biopsies were obtained from patients with advanced hepatic disease not selected because of urinary abnormalities or renal dysfunction. The frequency of lesions in this group of patients therefore probably reflects the true incidence of glomerular lesions in cirrhosis and related conditions. Progressive decline in renal function was not observed in any patient during follow up which ranged from 11 days to 55 mths.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Mesangium / pathology
  • Glomerular Mesangium / ultrastructure
  • Glomerulonephritis / etiology
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / immunology
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / immunology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies