A patient with thrombotic microangiopathy accompanied by glomerular subendothelial electron dense deposits

Am J Nephrol. 1998;18(2):155-9. doi: 10.1159/000013326.


A 50-year-old woman presented with thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and nephrotic syndrome. Although a high level of circulating immune complexes, mild hypocomplementemia, and the antinuclear antibody also were present, the criteria for collagen disease were not fulfilled. Renal biopsy demonstrated a typical thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) involving glomeruli. There also were electron-dense deposits located just beneath the original glomerular basement membrane in the dilated subendothelial space, thought to be immune complexes following positive IgG, C1q and C3 staining on an immunofluorescent study. Corticosteroid therapy rapidly ameliorated her hematologic abnormalities and proteinuria and normalized the immunologic data. These findings strongly suggest that the TMA in this patient was induced by immune complex-associated mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Complement C1q / analysis
  • Complement C3 / analysis
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / complications*
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / chemistry
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / ultrastructure
  • Middle Aged
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / complications*
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / pathology


  • Complement C3
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Complement C1q