Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
Glomerulonephritis is responsible for over one half of all cases of end-stage chronic renal failure and, in its most fulminant form, is a cause of acute, irreversible renal failure. Electron microscopy and immunofluorescent studies together with newly recognized clinical associations have revealed a wide variety of histologic subgroups and myriad etiologies for what was once regarded as a single, simple entity. The addition of electron microscopy has lent an entirely new dimension to the delineation of glomerulonephritis subtypes and offers a more reasonable approach to the search for treatment of these subtypes. It is, after all, not unreasonable to suppose that different etiologic factors and host responses are involved in the various pathologic lesions so clearly defined on electron microscopy. Immunofluorescent studies identify the presence of immune globulins and complement components in glomerular lesions and aid in recognition of their localization sites: they may reveal the contribution of fibrin deposition or specific antigens in the pathogenesis of glomerular involvement.
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