What is the role of electron microscopy in the diagnosis of immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy?

Updated: Feb 15, 2018
  • Author: Sohail Abdul Salim, MD, FASN, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Electron microscopy shows mesangial hypercellularity and increased mesangial matrix. The important finding is electron-dense deposits of IgA in the mesangium, such as those in the image below, but deposits in the subendothelial and subepithelial region of the glomerular capillary wall are found in a minority of patients, especially those with more severe disease. Subendothelial deposits are often present when there is endocapillary hypercellularity.

Electron microscopy showing large dark mesangial d Electron microscopy showing large dark mesangial deposits.

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