Towards a definition of glomerulomegaly: clinical–pathological and methodological considerations

Hughson, Michael D., Hoy, Wendy E., Douglas-Denton, Rebecca N., Zimanyi, Monika A., and Bertram, John F. (2011) Towards a definition of glomerulomegaly: clinical–pathological and methodological considerations. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 26 (7). pp. 2202-2208.

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Background. Glomerulomegaly, the abnormal enlargement of glomeruli, has been related to an increased risk of glomerulosclerosis, but the degree of enlargement that constitutes glomerulomegaly has not been defined.

Methods. The principal stereological methods for estimating glomerular volume are [1] the disector/Cavalieri method that is considered the 'gold standard' for measuring individual glomerular volume (IVglom) and [2] the disector/fractionator technique that estimates average glomerular volume (Vglom) together with total glomerular number (Nglom) for the entire kidney. The two methods produce different estimates with Vglom consistently exceeding IVglom. This study compares glomerular volumes obtained by the two methods in autopsy kidneys of 39 African American and 34 US white adult males, and correlates the values with Nglom, body mass index (BMI), hypertension, glomerulosclerosis and race, factors known or thought to influence glomerular volume.

Results. For the smallest glomeruli, Vglom was 25% larger than IVglom with the difference increasing to over 50% for kidneys with the largest glomeruli. Both Vglom and IVglom showed significant inverse correlations with Nglom and significant direct correlations with BMI and hypertension. African Americans had larger IVglom and Vglom than whites, but only IVglom was significant. The 90th percentile for IVglom was 6.81 μm3 × 106 and 13.10 μm3 × 106 for Vglom, but larger glomerular size did not separate hypertensive from non-hypertensive subjects nor did it show any significant relationship to glomerulosclerosis. While Vglom overestimated glomerular size compared with IVglom, both measurements demonstrated similar relationships to factors influencing glomerular volume.

Conclusions. With neither method could glomerulomegaly, the abnormal enlargement of glomerular size predisposing to glomerulosclerosis, be determined.

Item ID: 20973
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2385
Keywords: body mass index; glomerular number; glomerulomegaly; hypertension
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 06:59
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110312 Nephrology and Urology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920119 Urogenital System and Disorders @ 100%
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