Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis in children: A clinicopathologic study of 21 patients

Mazdak A. Khalighi*, Shihtien Wang, Kammi J. Henriksen, Margret Bock, Mahima Keswani, Anthony Chang, Shane M. Meehan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (GN) represents a severe form of glomerular injury and is the most common cause of crescentic GN in adults. To date, the clinicopathologic features of pauci-immune GN are not well characterized in the pediatric population. Methods: Twenty-six biopsies from 21 pediatric patients with pauci-immune GN were identified retrospectively from the pathology archives of the University of Chicago (biopsy incidence 5 % among pediatric patients). Results: There was distinct female predominance (2.5:1) among the patient cohort. Serologic studies identified anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in 85 % of patients, and 80 % had systemic manifestations of vasculitis. The median estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at presentation was 43 ml/min/1.73 m2. Based on a previously proposed classification of ANCA-associated GN, we identified a spectrum of injury, including crescentic (n = 9), focal (n = 7), mixed (n = 5) and sclerotic GN (n = 5). Necrotizing arteritis was identified in a minority of patients (n = 3). The majority of those patients for whom data were available had been treated with cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids, with or without rituximab. Of the 21 pediatric patients, 58 % had developed chronic kidney disease at follow-up (eGFR <90 ml/min/1.73 m2), of whom 85 % of those had crescentic, mixed or sclerotic GN. Conclusion: Pediatric patients with pauci-immune GN are similar to their adult counterparts in terms of clinical manifestations and histopathologic findings. Among the 21 patients in our study, those with focal GN had the best outcomes while patients with crescentic, mixed or sclerotic GN overwhelmingly had a poor long-term outcome for kidney function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-959
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
  • Crescentic glomerulonephritis
  • Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis
  • Small vessel vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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