Renal pathology at a glance


One liners:

  • MC cause of glomerulonephritis overall: IgA nephropathy
  • MC cause of glomerulonephritis in children: Minimal change disease
  • MC cause of acute nephritic syndrome in children: PSGN
  • MC cause of nephrotic syndrome in adult: FSGS.


  1.  PSGN:
    • Subepithelial deposits (beneath the epithelium)
  1. RPGN:
    • Characterized by crescents (proliferation of parietal epithelial cells)
  1. Spike and dome” pattern:
    • Characteristic of membranous glomerulonephritis
  1. “Tram track” appearance:
    • Characteristic of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN)
  1. Mesangial sclerosis:
    • Seen in IgA nephropathy
  1. Collapsing glomerulopathy (a variant of FSGS):
    • Characteristic of HIV; characterized by segmental collapse of the glomerular tuft and hyperplasia of overlying visceral epithelial cells
  1. “Basket weave” appearance:
    • Characteristic of Alport syndrome (Electron microscopy)
  1. “Foam cells” in glomeruli:
    • Characteristic of Alport syndrome (Light microscopy)
  1. Nodular glomerulosclerosis (Kimmelstiel Wilson lesion):
    • Characteristic of Diabetic nephropathy
  1. “Wire loop lesions”:
    • Characteristic of SLE nephritis.


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