Which immunofluorescence findings are characteristic of poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis?

Updated: Dec 16, 2020
  • Author: Duvuru Geetha, MD, MRCP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Immunofluorescence findings (see the image below) are as follows:

  • In biopsy samples taken in the first 2-3 weeks of illness, deposits of immunoglobulin G and C3 in a diffuse granular pattern are present along the glomerular capillary wall and mesangium.

  • Immunoglobulin M may be present in small amounts. Significant amounts of IgA suggest an alternative diagnosis.

  • Sorger et al have described 3 different patterns of immunofluorescence called the garland pattern, the starry sky pattern, and the mesangial pattern. [29]

  • The starry sky pattern is an irregular, finely granular pattern with small deposits often situated on the glomerular basement membrane overlying the mesangium. This pattern is often seen in the early phase of the disease.

  • The starry sky pattern may turn into the mesangial pattern, which is characterized by granular deposition of C3 with or without immunoglobulin G. It seems to be most closely related to a resolving pattern.

  • In approximately 25% of patients, the deposits are large and densely packed and aggregate into a ropelike or garlandlike pattern. These correspond to the humps on the subepithelial side of the glomerular capillary wall seen with electron microscopy. These types of deposits may persist for months and may be associated with the persistence of proteinuria and the development of glomerulosclerosis.

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