Electron microscopy in end stage renal disease: a case of Fabry's disease

Author Department

Medicine; Pathology

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Fabry's disease is an X-linked error of metabolism with deficiency of the enzyme α-glycosidase A, and glycosphingolipid accumulation in multiple tissues. Patients may be asymptomatic and present with advanced disease. We report a case of a 38 year old white male who presented with end stage renal disease of unknown etiology. He received a living-related donor kidney transplant (mother), but lost the graft after 10 years to multiple episodes of rejection. Review of the native renal biopsy with added ultrastructural studies established the diagnosis of Fabry's disease. Evaluation of renal biopsies showing advanced chronic injury should include electron microscopic studies, which may reveal characteristic diagnostic features, as seen in this case of Fabry's disease. Identification of hereditary disorders involving the kidney is important for appropriate treatment and prevention of disease recurrence. Potential living related donors should be screened for genetic involvement.

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