Histiocytic and Nonhistiocytic Glomerular Lesions: Foam Cells and Their Mimickers

Amulyajit Kaur, Sanjeev Sethi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Numerous histiocytes are sometimes noted in glomeruli, giving rise to a foamy-appearing glomerulus. Foamy-appearing glomeruli may also be noted in conditions that do not contain numerous histiocytes. These disease entities are rare, have different underlying causes and pathophysiology, and can cause a diagnostic dilemma. We have observed this histiocytic/foamy glomerular change on the kidney biopsy specimen in 5 different disease entities: crystal-storing histiocytosis, histiocytic glomerulopathy associated with macrophage-activating syndrome, thrombotic microangiopathy, lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency, and lipoprotein glomerulopathy. We describe and compare the kidney biopsy findings of these histiocytic and foamy-appearing entities. It is important to recognize the kidney biopsy findings of these rare conditions to correctly evaluate and identify the cause and manage these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • LCAT deficiency
  • Macrophage
  • crystal-storing histiocytosis
  • foam cells
  • glomerulopathy
  • histiocytes
  • histiocytic glomerulopathy
  • kidney failure
  • lipoprotein glomerulopathy
  • renal biopsy
  • thrombotic microangiopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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