Clinicopathologic Spectrum of Renal Lesions Following Anti-TNF- α Inhibitor Therapy: A Single Center Experience.

TitleClinicopathologic Spectrum of Renal Lesions Following Anti-TNF- α Inhibitor Therapy: A Single Center Experience.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsUsui J, Salvatore SP, Yamagata K, Seshan SV
Date Published2023 Mar 01
KeywordsAdalimumab, Infliximab, Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors

KEY POINTS: This renal biopsy study documents clinical renal dysfunction and pathologic lesions encountered in patients after anti-TNFα therapy and compares them with similar patients without treatment. This study highlights the spectrum of autoimmune, serologic, and other kidney adverse effects of anti-TNFα therapy. Unrelated active or chronic renal lesions including amyloidosis secondary to the underlying systemic inflammatory states may be observed.

BACKGROUND: Anti-TNFα inhibitors, as biological agents, are used in autoimmune inflammatory states, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PA), and Crohn disease. They can induce autoimmune serologic responses and clinical disorders, including systemic vasculitis and lupus-like diseases, affecting the kidney.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of clinicopathologic features of kidney disease after anti-TNFα therapy (treatment group) from our renal biopsy files from 2000 to 2018 is conducted and compared with 106 patients without therapy (control group).

RESULTS: Forty-eight patients using anti-TNFα agents had renal biopsies: RA in 30, PA six, Crohn disease six, RA and PA one, RA and Crohn disease one, and others four. Twenty received etanercept, 15 adalimumab, eight infliximab, and five two forms of agents manifesting new-onset nephritic syndrome or CKD, 17 with AKI and 16 nephrotic syndrome, with recent ANCA and/or lupus serology. The renal lesions were crescentic GN in eight, pauci-immune–type in five, and ANCA+ in five. Lupus or lupus-like nephritis was seen in six: International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society 2018 class II—2, class V—2, class III+V—1, and class IV+V—1, and concurrent fibrillary GN, scleroderma/thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), and amyloidosis in three. Renal lesions unrelated to anti-TNFα therapy or underlying autoimmune disease were noted in 23 patients (e.g., diabetic nephropathy, interstitial nephritis, acute tubular injury, infection-related GN); immunoglobulin A nephropathy, renal sarcoidosis, and amyloid A amyloidosis were noted in five patients. TMA was recognized in five patients, one associated with scleroderma and one anti-phospholipid antibodies, and two had nephrotic syndrome secondary to podocytopathy. The control group was similar with higher number of immune-mediated GN, interstitial nephritis, and amyloidosis.

CONCLUSION:: The renal lesions during anti-TNFα therapy have an autoimmune basis such as ANCA and lupus or lupus-like disease, correlated with new-onset serology, while others were similar to those observed in the control group. Renal biopsy findings integrated with clinical features and therapy can identify the underlying pathophysiologic process for appropriate management.

Alternate JournalKidney360
PubMed ID36706240
PubMed Central IDPMC10103359
Related Faculty: 
Steven P. Salvatore, M.D.

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