Crystalglobulin-associated nephropathy presenting as MGRS in a case of monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis: A case report

Rajib K. Gupta, Lois J. Arend, Anupama Bk, Sriram Narsipur, Ramya Bhargava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Crystalglobulin-associated nephropathy (CAN), a rare subtype of monoclonal gammopathy, usually associated with multiple myeloma and occasionally monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS), is characterized by occluding monoclonal pseudothrombi within renal glomerular capillaries and/or interstitial arterioles. Ultrastructurally, these pseudothrombi are unique for having a crystalline substructure. We describe a case of an adult patient with monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and acute renal failure whose kidney biopsy revealed a rare diagnosis of CAN. Case presentation: A 63-year old male presented with a 2-month history of edema, arthralgia and malaise. He had acute kidney injury with hematoproteinuria on urine analysis. Serum and urine protein electrophoresis were both negative. A renal biopsy however revealed features of CAN. Organomegaly, bone pain and lymphadenopathy were absent. A repeat serum electrophoresis was positive for IgA kappa and a free light chain assay showed elevated free kappa light chains. Flow cytometry done subsequently revealed a diagnosis of MBL, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) type. Conclusion: CAN in association with MBL/CLL has not been previously described in literature, and our case highlights yet another instance of monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance (MGRS) where a small B-cell clone resulted in extensive renal pathology without systemic manifestations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184
JournalBMC nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 18 2020


  • Crystalglobulin-associated nephropathy
  • Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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