Overlap of C3 Glomerulopathy and Thrombotic Microangiopathy: A Case Series

Aishwarya Ravindran, Lilian Monteiro Pereira Palma, Fernando C. Fervenza, Sanjeev Sethi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Dysregulation of alternative complement pathway underlies the pathogenesis of both C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). In this study, we describe both disease entities occurring in 5 patients. Methods: We identified 114 patients at our institution from 2007 to 2016 with C3G in native kidney biopsies and those with concurrent TMA were included. Results: The median age at diagnosis was 58 years (range: 28−69); all were male. Median serum creatinine and proteinuria at presentation were 2.3 mg/dl and 2089 mg/d, respectively. Three cases presented with TMA-predominant phenotype and 2 with C3G-predominant phenotype. Immunofluorescence (IF) showed bright C3 staining in mesangium and/or capillary walls. Electron microscopy showed marked subendothelial expansion by fluffy material in the capillary loops without associated deposits. However, capillary wall deposits were present in other loops in 4 cases. Mesangial deposits were present in all cases. Four cases showed low C3, of which 2 showed low C4. Complement evaluation in 3 cases showed pathogenic CFH mutation in 1 case, and multiple variant of unknown significance along with factor B autoantibody and C4 nephritic factor in 1 case. One patient negative for complement abnormalities had a monoclonal gammopathy. Three cases were treated with steroids and/or immunosuppressants. One case progressed to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) at 38.3 months; the remaining showed median serum creatinine and proteinuria of 2.5 mg/dl and 1169 mg/d, respectively at median follow-up of 17.5 months. Conclusion: Overlap of C3G and TMA is rare and can clinically present as C3G-predominant or TMA-predominant phenotype. The significance of concurrent C3G/TMA findings on long-term renal survival remains to be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • C3 glomerulopathy
  • aHUS
  • alternative pathway of complement
  • complement factor H
  • complement-mediated TMA
  • thrombotic microangiopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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