Open Access Case report

A case of podocytic infolding glomerulopathy with multiple myeloma

Makoto Harada1, Yuji Kamijo1*, Takashi Ehara2, Hisashi Shimojo2, Hidekazu Shigematsu2 and Makoto Higuchi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nephrology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1, Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan

2 Department of Pathology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan

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BMC Nephrology 2014, 15:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-15-32

Published: 13 February 2014



Podocytic infolding glomerulopathy (PIG) is a recently described condition causing rare pathological changes to the glomeruli, and has attracted considerable attention. PIG is characterized by specific changes to the thickened glomerular basement membrane (GBM), including microspheres, microtubular structures, and podocytic infolding. Only a small number of cases of PIG have been reported. The clinical features and pathogenesis of this condition are still unclear. To elucidate the characteristics of this glomerulopathy, it is necessary to accumulate information from reported cases. We present here the first reported case of PIG with multiple myeloma.

Case presentation

A 79-year-old Japanese man was admitted to his local hospital with proteinuria, hypergammaglobulinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and kidney dysfunction. Laboratory tests revealed monoclonal IgG(λ) M proteins in the serum and Bence-Jones proteins in the urine. Bone marrow aspiration showed monoclonal plasma cell proliferation, indicating a diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Renal biopsy was performed to determine the cause of the proteinuria and kidney dysfunction. Histological examination of the biopsy specimen showed glomeruli with an irregularly thickened GBM and bubble-like structures in the capillary walls. Immunofluorescence staining did not show glomerular deposition of immunoglobulins, light chains, or complement components. Congo red staining did not show amyloid deposition. Electron microscopy showed an irregularly thickened GBM with unusual structures in the glomerular capillary walls including podocytic infolding and microspheres, suggesting PIG. There were no electron-dense deposits in the GBM, while various findings indicating podocyte injury were detected.


We present here the first reported case of PIG in a patient with multiple myeloma. The mechanisms underlying the development of PIG in multiple myeloma are unknown, but may be associated with podocyte injury.

Podocytic infolding glomerulopathy; Multiple myeloma; Microspheres