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Thrombotic Microangiopathy

The image (trichrome stain) shows the characteristic arteriolar lesion of acute thrombotic microangiopathy. Note the prominent mucoid intimal edema and extensive red blood cell fragmentation. The differential diagnosis based on this morphologic lesion is broad, and it includes infection, accelerated hypertension, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, and malignancy, among others. The kidney biopsy was from a 75-year-old Caucasian woman seen in consultation for acute renal failure and hypertension which developed one week after the onset of severe diarrhea. Laboratory tests showed microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and stool cultures were positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Hepatitis, ANA, anti-glomerular basement membrane, and ANCA tests...

Postpartum HUS

This 22-year-old Caucasian female presented with acute renal failure and proteinuria five days after delivering her first child. The pregnancy was uneventful. Serum creatinine at presentation was 6.2 mg/dL (baseline of 0.8 mg/dL), hemoglobin 2.5 g/dL, platelets 22,000 and LDH 2300 U/L. The biopsy shows glomeruli with endocapillary fibrin thrombi, associated with segmental mesangiolysis and red blood cell fragmentation.  These findings are diagnostic of a thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA).  Numerous etiologies may lead to a TMA, all of which show morphologic overlap with no morphologic finding specific for a single etiology.  Given the clinical history and the timing of disease presentation...