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Revista de nefrologia, dialisis y trasplante

On-line version ISSN 2346-8548


HELVAC, Özant. Primary Membranous Nephropathy With Extremely High Levels Of Ca-125. Rev. nefrol. dial. traspl. [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.4, pp.266-270. ISSN 2346-8548.

Membranous nephropathy is a glomerular disease that causes nephrotic syndrome. Absent phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies and absent staining with IgG4 may be linked to malignancy-associated MN. Here we present a case that defies that suggestion.

A 42-year-old female presented with anasarca. Kidney biopsy revealed membranous nephropathy, stained positive for IgG but negative for IgG4. Absent phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies was negative. Abdominal tomography revealed a partial thrombosis of the left ovarian vein which raised suspicion for ovarian cancer. Even though her ovaries did not uptake FDG on PET scan, a carbohydrate antigen-125 was ordered. She had extremely high levels of carbohydrate antigen-125 which was unexpected in the course of benign events.

Thorax CT, endoscopy, colonoscopy, mammography, and positron emission tomography were clear in terms of malignancy. Samples from both pleural effusion and ascites were consistent with transudate. Tuberculosis tests were negative. Cytology samples were negative for malign cells. Exploratory surgery was planned but rejected by the patient.

She was treated as primary disease with cyclosporine and methylprednisolone. Rituximab was off-limits due to insurance rules. She had prompt and excellent response. Steroids were tapered and stopped at sixth month and cyclosporine at twelfth month. In her 36 months of drug-free follow up there has been no disease recurrence or a sign of cancer.

Even when all odds are towards malignancy-associated membranous nephropathy, primary disease is still a possibility. We need better markers for malignancy-associated membranous nephropathy.A very high level of CA-125 does not necessarily mean cancer.

Keywords : membranous nephropathy; membranous glomerulopathy; phospholipaseA2 receptor antibodies; anti-PLA2R; malignancy; carbohydrate antigen; cancer.

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