Lipoprotein glomerulopathy, first case report from Canada


Lipoprotein glomerulopathy (LPG) is a situation first described in Japan in 1989.1 Since then, roughly 200 circumstances have been reported, principally from China and Japan, with solely a handful of circumstances reported exterior of Asia.2 LPG normally presents as progressively worsening proteinuria in a affected person of East Asian descent, with males extra generally affected than females.3 Sufferers usually, however not at all times, have co-existent hypertriglyceridemia. It’s characterised on renal biopsy by lipoprotein thrombi in glomerular capillaries. We report a case of a 49-year-old man presenting with proteinuria and renal biopsy that confirmed LPG. Repeat renal biopsy two years later confirmed illness decision in response to remedy.

Case Report

A 49-year-old male of Chinese language descent was discovered to have proteinuria with urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) of 153.8 mg/mmol on routine laboratory testing. His creatinine at the moment was 109 µmol/L with an related estimated GFR of 68 mL/min/1.73.2 He was asymptomatic to his renal illness, other than newly identified hypertension for which he had been began on perindopril 4 mg day by day every week previous to his first nephrology evaluation. One other earlier medical historical past was important for dyslipidemia identified six years in the past, though he had solely began taking rosuvastatin 10 mg day by day 3–6 months prior. He was additionally a present cigarette smoker with a 30-year smoking historical past.

Household historical past was detrimental for any kidney illness. His father died of pancreatic most cancers. His mom died of liver most cancers. All different instant relations had been wholesome.

On examination, BP was 136/80 mmHg. Bodily examination was in any other case regular with no stigmata of connective tissue illness or manifestations of lipoidosis. Serum creatinine was 109 µmol/L and serum albumin was 39 g/L. The affected person had subnephrotic vary proteinuria with ACR 153.8 and 24 h urine protein of two.66 g/day. Urinalysis was constructive for 0.3 mg/L hemoglobin, however urine microscopy confirmed just one–3 erythrocytes/hpf. Antinuclear antibody was weakly constructive, however the autoimmune evaluate of techniques was detrimental. C3, C4, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody panel, glomerular basement antibody, hepatitis B and C serology, human immunodeficiency virus testing, and cryoglobulin had been all detrimental. Hemoglobin A1C was 5.6%. Serum protein electrophoresis confirmed no monoclonal protein. Fasting lipid profile confirmed whole ldl cholesterol (TC) 8.82 mmol/L, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) 6.16 mmol/L, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) 1.12 mmol/L, and triglycerides (TG) 3.38 mmol/L. ApoE stage was ordered however by no means processed by the laboratory. The affected person’s perindopril was elevated to 16 mg PO day by day, however ACR remained elevated (173.8 mmol/L).

Renal biopsy contained as much as 20 glomeruli by mild microscopy. The biopsy confirmed that almost all glomeruli had been enlarged and had markedly dilated capillary lumina crammed with amorphous to mesh-like materials that stained pale with hematoxylin and eosin, Periodic Acid Schiff, Jones’, and Masson trichrome (Determine 1A), however constructive with Oil-Pink-O (Determine 1B). No foam cells had been seen. There was mild-to-moderate mesangial growth with hypercellularity (segmentally as much as 8–9 nuclei). Segmental sclerosis was famous inside as much as 2 glomeruli in a perihilar distribution. Silver stained sections confirmed variable thickening and duplication of the glomerular basement membrane in some areas with no epimembranous spike formation. Persistent tubulointerstitial damage (fibrosis and atrophy) was seen in 5% of sampled cortex. There have been no crimson blood cell casts. Interlobular-sized arteries and arterioles had been unremarkable, and peritubular capillaries had been unaffected. Direct immunofluorescence confirmed no important staining for IgG, IgM (hint), IgA, C1q, C3, kappa, lambda, fibrin/fibrinogen, or albumin. Immunofluorescence on paraffin-embedded tissue after pronase digestion confirmed segmental mesangial and capillary wall staining for IgM (1+), kappa (1+), and lambda (1+) in segmentally sclerosed glomeruli. The intracapillary materials didn’t stain for any of the immunoreactants examined. On electron microscopy, there have been giant extracellular vacuolated particles that focally confirmed a laminated construction (Determine 1C). Glomerular basement membranes surrounding this materials had been thickened, with flocculent materials increasing the subendothelial house and focally containing granules and vacuoles. There was mild-to-moderate podocyte foot course of effacement. A phase with out intracapillary materials was unremarkable with regular basement membrane thickness, preserved podocyte foot processes, and no immune deposits.

Determine 1 Unique biopsy. The size of every bar represents the gap in microns. (A) exhibits dilated glomerular capillaries crammed with mesh-like acellular materials (Masson trichrome). (B) exhibits capillary lumina which are dilated with lipid droplets (Oil-Pink-O stain). (C) exhibits a fingerprint-like construction composed of granules and vacuoles inside a capillary lumen. There’s growth (asterisk) of the subendothelial house (electron microscopy, 5000x).

Genotyping with polymerase chain response confirmed apo E3/E3 genotype. Genetic sequencing was achieved which revealed p.Leu162_Lys164del, identified within the literature because the Tokyo/Maebashi mutation of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) (Blueprint Genetics, Finland).

Primarily based on the renal biopsy outcomes, the affected person was handled with fenofibrate 160 mg PO day by day along with rosuvastatin 5 mg PO day by day. The affected person additionally remained on perindopril 16 mg PO day by day. Simply two weeks after beginning fenofibrate, the affected person’s fasting lipid profile normalized (TC 4.39 mmol/L, LDL 2.43 mmol/L, HDL 1.30 mmol/L, and TG 1.46 mmol/L) and ACR had dropped to 75.0 mg/mmol. ACR continued to lower and was all the way down to 2.7 mg/mmol two years after fibrate initiation. Nevertheless, creatinine had elevated to 123 µmol/L. This was considered most definitely from the impact of fibrates on creatinine secretion,4 however a second renal biopsy was ordered to rule out any illness development. Repeat biopsy achieved 27 months after the preliminary biopsy contained as much as 17 glomeruli. Capillary lumina had been now not dilated or crammed with acellular materials (Determine 2A). Occasional glomeruli nonetheless had mild-to-moderate mesangial growth with hypercellularity. Two glomeruli confirmed international glomerulosclerosis (11%) and three confirmed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis: two perihilar and one inside an indeterminate location. There was no intracapillary materials seen and Oil-Pink-O stain was detrimental (Determine 2B), in keeping with the decision of LPG. On electron microscopy, no intracapillary materials was seen (Determine 2C). The subendothelial growth seen within the earlier biopsy was notably decreased, with uncommon persistent flocculent materials with a vacuolized look, in keeping with markedly resolved LPG (Determine 2C).

Determine 2 Comply with up biopsy. The size of every bar represents the gap in microns. (A) exhibits glomerular capillaries are now not dilated or crammed with acellular materials (Masson trichrome). (B) confirms the absence of lipid droplets (Oil-Pink-O stain). (C) exhibits electron micrograph of capillary lumina that now not comprise acellular materials (5000x). Nevertheless, uncommon subendothelial areas are expanded with lipoprotein materials [osmiophilic granules (protein) and vacuoles (lipid)] as depicted within the inset (C) (15000x, akin to the rectangle on (C)).

The affected person continues to do nicely 3 years after preliminary prognosis of LPG and continues to take fenofibrate, rosuvastatin, and perindopril. Creatinine stays secure (106 µmol/L) and ACR is 3.4 mg/mmol.


LPG is a renal lipidosis characterised by irregular lipoprotein metabolism inflicting lipoprotein thrombi, proteinuria, and renal insufficiency.5 It’s normally brought on by a mutation in apolipoprotein E (apoE) and is inherited in an autosomal dominant vogue with incomplete penetrance.3 It was first reported in 1989.1 Since then, there have been roughly 200 circumstances reported worldwide, 145 of which embody confirmatory gene sequencing.6–20 Most of those experiences come from China and Japan. Solely 10 circumstances of LPG (together with this one) have been reported from North America,2,18,21–26 and beforehand solely 5 of those included gene sequencing: 3 APOE Kyoto,18,23 1 APOE Chicago,22 1 APOE Las Vegas.25 The case we current right here is the primary in North America to be recognized with APOE Tokyo/Maebashi. It’s also the primary case report of LPG from Canada.

LPG can have an effect on any age group.3 It’s normally present in sufferers of East Asian descent, with solely 18 circumstances recognized in sufferers of non-Asian descent,2,10,12,20,22,23,25–33 of which solely 9 embody confirmatory gene sequencing: 1 APOE Chicago,22 3 APOE Kyoto,12,23 1 APOE Las Vegas,25 2 APOE Modena,27,29 and a couple of APOE Osaka/Kurashiki.10 It has a male predilection and normally presents with proteinuria discovered by the way on routine laboratory testing.3 Creatinine clearance is normally regular on the time of prognosis.5 It’s related to elevated apoE serum ranges and hypertriglyceridemia, althoug this isn’t at all times the case.3 The vast majority of sufferers have hypertension.34 Stigmata of lipidosis equivalent to xanthomas are normally absent.3

To our data, there have been solely 13 LPG sufferers on this planet (together with this affected person) which have been recognized with the APOE Tokyo/Maebashi mutation. 5 are from Japan,13,35–37 6 are from China,38,39 and 1 is from Switzerland in a person of Indonesian descent.11 APOE Tokyo/Maebashi seems to be pretty uncommon in frequency within the normal inhabitants. In a single research, 200 Chinese language people with regular lipid profiles had been screened for this mutation and all examined detrimental.38 This similar research additionally demonstrated that some relations carrying the APOE Tokyo/Maebashi mutation didn’t have LPG, suggesting incomplete penetrance. This discovering is in keeping with different mutations linked to LPG. The APOE Tokyo/Maebashi mutation is discovered on the LDL receptor binding website of apoE,13 which is the place most mutations related to LPG happen.35 A change in binding affinity of the apoE to the LDL receptor impairs catabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.3 These lipoproteins then accumulate in glomeruli and kind lipoprotein thrombi. Research have proven that proteins with mutations inflicting LPG equivalent to APOE Sendai, APOE Chicago, APOE Osaka/Kurashiki,40 APOE Kyoto, APOE Tsukuba, and APOE Las Vegas tend to mixture.41 It’s unclear why these lipoprotein thrombi should not present in any construction aside from the glomeruli. Nevertheless, there may be hypothesis that mutations that improve the constructive cost of apoE would improve its affinity for the negatively charged glomerular basement membrane, inflicting them to localize and mixture in that space.3 It’s also postulated that precursors of lipoprotein thrombi assemble within the mesangium and/or subendothelium, after which construct up within the glomerular capillaries as a downstream impact.42 Our post-treatment biopsy findings present proof to assist this speculation.

On kidney biopsy, essentially the most placing characteristic of LPG is enlarged glomerular capillaries crammed with lipoprotein thrombi. These thrombi stain pale with H&E, PAS, and Jones’, however constructive for Oil-Pink-O.42 There’s usually related mesangial proliferation, however no foam cells. Typically there may be membrane reduplication in capillary partitions. Segmental sclerosis can be a standard discovering. There is no such thing as a important staining on immunofluorescence. On electron microscopy, the lipoprotein thrombi are proven to encompass lipid granules and vacuoles of assorted sizes that kind a lamellated “fingerprint” look. A number of biopsies additionally reveal osmiophilic substances within the subendothelium and/or mesangium, even in capillary lumina that don’t comprise lipoprotein thrombi.42 Thus, it’s hypothesized that these osmiophilic substances might signify an early step within the formation of lipoprotein thrombi, though it was unclear whether or not these densities might simply be a non-specific discovering.3 The glomerular subendothelium is a perfect nesting spot for LPG-mutated lipoprotein to build up since mutated apoE has the next affinity to each endothelial cells and the glomerular basement membrane. One research confirmed that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins containing apoE3 affected by the APOE Kyoto mutation had better binding affinity to endothelial cells than triglyceride-rich lipoproteins certain to wild-type apoE3.43 It’s also thought that modifications within the electrical cost of mutated apoE improve its affinity for the negatively charged glomerular basement membrane.3 Our discoveries corroborate earlier pathological findings of LPG, and add to the present data of the illness. We’re the primary to report a repeat biopsy displaying that after decision of lipoprotein thrombi, there’s a marked lower in these subendothelial granular densities, suggesting that the presence of this subendothelial materials is a characteristic particular to LPG that correlates with illness severity. Moreover, this flocculent subendothelial materials didn’t disappear fully regardless of the entire decision of lipoprotein thrombi, which helps the concept that this substance is a milder morphologic manifestation of this situation and probably a precursor within the formation of lipoprotein thrombi.

Worldwide, solely 22 circumstances of LPG together with this case have reported the outcomes of multiple native kidney biopsy.14,15,29,32,44–49 Of those repeat biopsies, 20 (together with this one) confirmed enchancment or decision of lipoprotein thrombi, and a couple of circumstances confirmed no enchancment. Our repeat biopsy findings had been in keeping with earlier circumstances which all reported persistent mesangial modifications, foot course of effacement, segmental sclerosis, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular atrophy even after lipoprotein thrombi have disappeared. This case is the primary to report a repeat biopsy with enchancment in, however not full disappearance of, osmiophilic granules within the subendothelium, even when lipoprotein thrombi have resolved, supporting the idea that these substances signify an early step within the formation of lipoprotein thrombi.

Of the 19 circumstances with repeat biopsy that improved, 1 was handled with probucol and 6 had been handled with a fibrate with or with out different lipid-lowering brokers. One was handled with LDL apheresis, and 12 had been handled with protein A immunoadsorption. Each circumstances that confirmed no enchancment had been handled with fibrates however didn’t reply. Varied remedies have been used for LPG, with variable success. Fibrates are at present the mainstay of therapy for LPG, even for LPG sufferers who don’t have dyslipidemia. One research of 35 LPG sufferers confirmed that sufferers who obtained fibrate remedy for at the very least 12 months had 93.7% renal survival versus solely 30% renal survival after 3 years in those who didn’t obtain a fibrate.34 Response to fibrate remedy is variable and doesn’t appear to be predicted by apoE mutation sort. Much less constant outcomes have been seen with other-lipid decreasing therapies. There’s one case report that implies niceritol could possibly be efficient.37 Probucol, icosapent ethyl,37 and statins have all had combined success.17 Most experiences recommend that regardless that statins normalize affected person lipid profiles, they normally don’t result in enchancment in proteinuria.5 That is in keeping with our findings. Our affected person was on rosuvastatin 10 mg PO day by day for over 6 months previous to beginning fibrate remedy, and regardless that his lipid profile improved, his proteinuria didn’t. Equally, experiences recommend that angiotensin changing enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) alone don’t enhance LPG. Our affected person obtained 4 months of perindopril previous to beginning fibrate remedy and proteinuria remained unchanged till fibrates had been began. When sufferers are refractory to fibrate remedy, various remedies embody LDL apheresis29 and staphylococcal protein A immunoadsorption,48 though a necessity for repeat remedies is likely to be required.

There have been no circumstances reported of LPG that resolve spontaneously with out therapy. Virtually all sufferers with LPG who obtain a kidney transplant have a recurrence of LPG on kidney biopsy inside a number of months.3

LPG is a uncommon kidney illness principally seen in China and Japan. To our data, we’re the primary to report a case of LPG in Canada. Contemplating the varied ethnic inhabitants present in Canada, and particularly the massive Asian communities in Canada, it’s seemingly that the absence of case experiences of LPG represents under-diagnosis or under-reporting of this entity. By reporting our findings, we hope to lift consciousness of this illness in non-Asian international locations. Certainly, the medical presentation might be very refined and sufferers with this illness are seemingly under-biopsied because of the presumption that their underlying kidney illness should be from extra frequent circumstances, equivalent to hypertension, diabetes, or IgA nephropathy. Nevertheless, as on this case, sufferers with proteinuria who should not responding to standard remedies equivalent to ACEI or ARB ought to obtain a kidney biopsy to evaluate for LPG, particularly if they’re of East Asian descent and have hypertriglyceridemia. This prognosis is a very important one to make for the reason that therapy used for this illness may be very totally different from different glomerular illnesses, and the prognosis with out therapy is kind of poor. As well as, we provide perception into the pathological evolution of LPG, with novel biopsy findings to assist the speculation that precursors to lipoprotein thrombi are discovered within the subendothelium of glomeruli. Meta-analysis of current experiences and research is required to focus on therapies extra selectively.


LPG is a illness that’s troublesome to clinically differentiate from different proteinuric kidney illnesses related to dyslipidemias. Whereas applicable therapy leads to important restoration, lack of therapy can usually result in important lack of kidney operate, additional highlighting the significance of correct prognosis and applicable therapy. Contemplating the range of inhabitants in lots of international locations internationally, it’s seemingly that this illness is under-recognised exterior of China and Japan. By reporting the primary case of LPG in Canada, we hope to lift consciousness of this uncommon illness. We additionally provide perception into the pathogenesis of LPG by way of repeat biopsy that confirmed enchancment in, however not full disappearance of, subendothelial lipoprotein materials even after decision of lipoprotein thrombi and full medical remission of illness. This helps rising proof that precursors to lipoprotein thrombi are discovered within the subendothelial house of glomeruli in LPG.


ACEI, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; ACR, urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio; APOE, apolipoprotein E gene; apoE, apolipoprotein E; ARB, angiotensin receptor blocker; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; LPG, lipoprotein glomerulopathy; TC, whole ldl cholesterol; TG, triglycerides.

Information Sharing Assertion

The info referred to on this case report can be found from the corresponding writer on cheap request.

Consent for Publication

Written knowledgeable consent was obtained from the affected person for publication of this case report and any accompanying pictures. Institutional approval was not required to publish the case particulars.

Creator Contributions

All authors made substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of knowledge, or evaluation and interpretation of knowledge; took half in drafting the article or revising it critically for vital mental content material; agreed to undergo the present journal; gave ultimate approval for the model to be revealed; and agreed to be accountable for all facets of the work.


The authors report no conflicts of curiosity on this work.


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