Lenvatinib-related renal microangiopathy: a case series

Marco Delsante, Jose M. Monroy-Trujillo, Naima Carter-Monroe, Douglas W. Ball, Avi Z. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors play an important role in the armamentarium against cancer. Lenvatinib is a multiple kinase inhibitor approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced and radioresistant thyroid carcinomas and, in combination with everolimus, for renal cell carcinoma and unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. The anti-tumoral activity is largely dependent on inhibition of neo-angiogenesis, and established side effects of anti-angiogenetic therapeutics include renal thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Here, we describe three cases of biopsy-proven renal TMA clinically presenting with proteinuria and stable serum creatinine in patients receiving lenvatinib for thyroid cancer. Microangiopathic lesions included glomerular basement membrane reduplication with segmental cellular interposition, mesangiolysis, and focal intracapillary and arteriolar thrombi. Drug-dose reduction or withdrawal was effective in renal function preservation, but cancer progressed in all patients. The management of lenvatinib-induced renal TMA remains a challenge. The best therapy in these patients is still uncertain. Earlier and more precise measurement of urine protein levels, allowing for early dose adjustment, could be effective in preventing further damage and drug discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Kidney biopsy
  • Lenvatinib
  • Onco-nephrology
  • Proteinuria
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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