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Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Pranay Kathuria, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN  more...
Updated: Jun 23, 2016

Diagnostic Considerations

When evaluating a patient with suspected membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), also consider conditions such as postinfectious glomerulonephritis, fibrillary glomerulonephritis, immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, and vasculitis. In addition, recurrent MPGN needs to be differentiated from transplant glomerulopathy, which has a similar histology but lacks immune deposits.

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Pranay Kathuria, MD FACP, FASN, FNKF, Professor of Medicine, Director, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine

Pranay Kathuria, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Heart Association, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Ajay K Singh, MB, MRCP, MBA Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Director of Dialysis, Renal Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Director, Brigham/Falkner Dialysis Unit, Faulkner Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN Huberwald Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology-Hypertension, Tulane University School of Medicine; Chief, Renal Section, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

F John Gennari, MD Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, Robert F and Genevieve B Patrick Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine

F John Gennari, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Federation for Medical Research, American Heart Association, American Physiological Society, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous authors Martin Senitko, MD, and Sandeep Singh, MD, to the development and writing of the source article.

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Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) type I. Glomerulus with lobular accentuation from increased mesangial cellularity. A segmental increase occurs in the mesangial matrix, and the peripheral capillary walls are thickened (hematoxylin and eosin stained section; original magnification × 250). Courtesy of John A. Minielly, MD.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) type I. Electron microscopy of prominent, glomerular, subendothelial, immune-type electron deposits (original magnification × 11,400). Courtesy of John A. Minielly, MD.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) type I. Glomerulus with mesangial interposition producing a double contouring of basement membranes, which, in areas, appear to surround subendothelial deposits (Jones silver methenamine–stained section; original magnification × 400). Courtesy of John A. Minielly, MD.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) type II. Electron microscopy of glomerular basement membrane, intramembranous, somewhat linear, electron dense deposit (ie, dense deposit disease; original magnification × 11,400). Courtesy of John A. Minielly, MD.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) type I. Immunofluorescent stained section. Intense, peripheral, glomerular, capillary loop deposition of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in an interrupted linear pattern corresponding to extensive subendothelial immune deposits (original magnification × 400). Courtesy of John A. Minielly, MD.
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