Nail-patella-like renal disease masquerading as Fabry disease on kidney biopsy: A case report

Filippo Pinto E Vairo, Pavel N. Pichurin, Fernando C. Fervenza, Samih H. Nasr, Kevin Mills, Christopher T. Schmitz, Eric W. Klee, Sandra M. Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Genetic changes in the LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 beta (LMX1B) have been associated with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) without the extra-renal or ultrastructural manifestations of Nail-patella syndrome (NPS) known as Nail-patella-like renal disease (NPLRD). Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal disease caused by the deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A. The classic form of the disease is characterized by acroparesthesia, angiokeratomas, cornea verticillata, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. Podocyte myelin bodies on ultrastructural examination of kidney tissue are very characteristic of FD; however some medications and other conditions may mimic this finding. Case presentation: Here, we report on a female patient with chronic kidney disease (CKD), positive family history for kidney disease and kidney biopsy showing a FSGS lesion and presence of focal myelin figures within podocytes concerning for FD. However, genetic testing for FD was negative. After comprehensive clinical, biochemical, and genetic evaluation, including whole exome and RNA sequencing, she was ultimately diagnosed with NPLRD. Conclusions: This case illustrates the difficulties of diagnosing atypical forms of rare Mendelian kidney diseases and the role of a multidisciplinary team in an individualized medicine clinic setting in combination with state-of-the-art sequencing technologies to reach a definitive diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number341
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 13 2020


  • Fabry disease
  • Individualized medicine
  • LMX1B
  • Nail-patella-like renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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