We report the case of a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who developed nephrotic syndrome and progressive renal failure mimicking human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) who required initiation of hemodialysis and was found on renal biopsy to have membranous nephropathy. Hepatitis B and C serologics were negative. Although she required hemodialysis, she was treated with prednisone and experienced a progressive decline in her serum creatinine from 10.1 mg/dL to 1.9 mg/dL, which permitted the discontinuation of hemodialysis. After she abruptly discontinued prednisone, her creatinine level increased to 4.8 mg/dL, and she experienced marked worsening of her nephrotic syndrome. Resumption of prednisone resulted in normalization of serum creatinine and reduction in urine protein excretion. No adverse effects of prednisone occurred during this time. She remains off of hemodialysis for 1 year with a serum creatinine level of 1.0 mg/dL and urine protein excretion of 0.4 g/d. Although most patients with HIV infection, nephrotic-range proteinuria, and renal failure have FSGS, a minority may have membranous nephropathy. Although typically not a steroid-responsive lesion in the setting of advanced renal failure, membranous nephropathy may be a highly steroid-responsive lesion in the HIV-infected patient, and treatment may help avert the need for dialysis in a patient population that generally has a poor outcome on dialysis.
- HIV infection
- Membranous nephropathy