Previous studies suggest that there is an association between hepatitis C (HCV) infection and glomerular diseases in native and transplanted kidneys. However, the data are controversial. To reexamine this issue, we determined the prevalence of serum anti-HCV antibodies in patients with glomerulopathies of native kidneys (n = 105) end in patients with acute and chronic transplant glomerulopathy (TxGN) (n=62). Compared with a control group of patients with diabetic nephropathy (n = 37, 0% HCV +), the prevalence of HCV antibodies was significantly higher in patients with focal glomerulosclerosis (FGS) (4 of 32, 13%, P = 0.04 by chi-square), but not in patients with membranous nephropathy (MGN) (1 of 19, 5%) or in patients with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) (2 of 17, 12%). All of the patients with positive HCV serology had histories of intravenous (IV) drug use. Thus, HCV serology was negative in all of the patients with native glomerulopathies without histories of IV drug use. Compared with a group of 105 transplant patients without TxGN (1.8% HCV+), the prevalence of HCV antibodies was significantly higher in patients with acute (A)TxGN (12 or 41: 29%. P=0.0004) and in patients with chronic (C)TxGN (9 of 27: 33%, P=0.0004). Compared with controls, patients with ATxGN also had a significantly higher prevalence of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) M antibodies to cytomegalovirus (CMV) (3% and 26% of patients, respectively, P = 0.0004}. However, there were no statistical associations between HCV and CMV serologies. These results do not support the postulate that HCV infection is associated with idiopathic native glomerulopathies; instead, the data suggest that the presence of HCV positivity in these patients can be explained by the inclusion of patients with a history of IV drug use. In contrast, these studies demonstrate for the first time an association between HCV infection and transplant glomerulopathies.
- Hepatitis C
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