Electron microscopy of a biopsy specimen in a patient with IgA nephropathy. Electron dense deposits can be identified in the mesangium (black arrows), which on immunofluorescence would have predominant or co-dominant IgA staining. Note that although mesangial IgA deposits are classic in IgA nephropathy and IgA vasculitis (former Henoch-Schonlein purpura nephritis), they can be seen in other conditions including infection-associated glomerulonephritis, inflammatory bowel disease, malignancies, sarcoidosis, and certain dermatologic conditions. GBM; glomerular basement membrane. RBC; red blood cells. Mes; mesangium. CS; capillary space. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
A normal glomerulus (left) and hypertrophied glomerulus (glomerulomegaly, right). Glomerulomegaly is an adaptive response to decreased nephron number (e.g. prematurity) and/or increased demand (e.g. obesity). Patients with glomerulomegaly may have sub-nephrotic or nephrotic-range proteinuria, but other features of nephrotic syndrome are rare. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
WBC casts (black arrows) in a biopsy specimen of a patient with acute interstitial nephritis. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
Microscopic renal cysts. Note the flattened to cuboidal epithelium lining the cysts. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
A segmental (left, black arrow) and circumferential crescent (right) in a patient with IgA nephropathy. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
A normal appearing glomerulus (left) compared to a glomerulus with endocapillary hypercellularity (right). Note the hypercellular capillary loop (red arrow) compared to the normal capillary lumens (black arrows). This histologic feature can be seen in several glomerular disorders, including IgA nephropathy, post-infectious glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis, and C3 glomerulopathy. Images courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.
Clusters of interstitial foam cells (arrows) in a kidney biopsy. These are commonly found in biopsy specimens of patients with Alport syndrome, FSGS, IgA nephropathy, and other proteinuric kidney diseases. Image courtesy of Patrick Walker, MD.