Acquired glomerular lesions in patients with Down syndrome

Samar M. Said, Lynn D. Cornell, Sanjeev Sethi, Mary E. Fidler, Omar Al Masri, Jeffrey Marple, Samih H. Nasr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The long-term survival of persons with Down syndrome has dramatically increased over the past 50 years. There are no studies addressing the spectrum of glomerular lesions in these patients. We reviewed the clinical-pathologic characteristics of 17 patients with Down syndrome who underwent renal biopsy. The cohort consisted of 12 whites and 5 African Americans with mean age of 29 years (range, 6-45 years). History of hypothyroidism was present in 8 patients. Renal presentations included renal insufficiency (15 patients, mean serum creatinine 3.4 mg/dL), proteinuria (all patients, including 3 with nephrotic syndrome, mean 24-hour urine protein 4.2 g), and hematuria (14 patients, including 4 with gross hematuria). The glomerular diseases found on biopsy were IgA nephropathy (n = 5 patients), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (n = 4), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (n = 2), acute postinfectious glomerulonephritis (n = 2), pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis (n = 2), membranous glomerulonephritis (n = 1), and lupus nephritis (n = 1). Follow-up (mean, 47 months; range, 2-141 months) was available on 16 patients (94%). Two patients (1 with membranous glomerulonephritis and 1 with acute postinfectious glomerulonephritis) had complete remission; 8 patients (4 with IgA nephropathy, 2 with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, 1 with lupus nephritis, and 1 with acute postinfectious glomerulonephritis) had chronic kidney disease; and 6 patients (2 with pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis, 2 with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, 1 with IgA nephropathy, and 1 with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) progressed to end-stage renal disease, 4 of whom died. In summary, a wide spectrum of glomerular diseases can be seen in patients with Down syndrome, with IgA nephropathy and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis being the most common. Renal biopsy is necessary to determine the type of glomerular lesion and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Down syndrome
  • Focal segmental
  • Glomerular disease
  • Glomerulosclerosis
  • IgA nephropathy
  • Renal pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Said, S. M., Cornell, L. D., Sethi, S., Fidler, M. E., Al Masri, O., Marple, J., & Nasr, S. H. (2012). Acquired glomerular lesions in patients with Down syndrome. Human Pathology, 43(1), 81-88.