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Case Report: Patient with Hepatitis C, p-ANCA, and Cryoglobulin Antibodies Presenting with Necrotizing Crescentic p-ANCA Glomerulonephritis

10 Aug 2018

Hepatitis C (HCV) infection has a prevalence of 3 million infected individuals in the United States, according to recent Center for Disease Control reports, and can have various renal manifestations. Cryoglobulins, antibodies that precipitate at colder temperatures in vitro, are a relatively common cause of renal disease in HCV infection. The cryoglobulin proteins can form occlusive aggregates in small glomerular capillary lumina or deposit in other areas of the glomerulus, resulting in hypocomplementemia, proteinuria, hematuria, and renal injury. The typical biopsy pattern is that of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN). There are, however, other HCV-related patterns of glomerular injury. Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are known to exist in HCV-infected patients. In many reported cases, ANCA serologic testing may appear positive due to cross-reactivity of the immune assays; however, the biopsy findings do not support ANCA-associated crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN)/vasculitis as the primary cause of glomerular injury. There are rare reports of microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) p-ANCA vasculitis, in patients with HCV infection. In comparison with the MPGN pattern of cryoglobulinemic glomerular injury, biopsies from these HCV-infected patients with concomitant MPA revealed a crescentic GN, associated with normal serum complement levels. We present a case of HCV-associated glomerular disease with the surprising biopsy finding of necrotizing and crescentic p-ANCA GN, with a background, low-grade mesangial immune complex GN. Thus, p-ANCA disease should also be considered in HCV-infected patients, in addition to the more typical lesions of MPGN or cryoglobulinemic GN.
Case Rep Nephrol Dial 2018;8:161–170

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Case Reports in Nephrology and Dialysis