A site for medical students - Practical,Theory,Osce Notes


Pathology of HIV-Associated Nephropathy (HIVAN)

HIV-Associated Nephropathy (HIVAN) is a progressive kidney disease associated with advanced HIV infection. It is one of the most common causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in HIV-infected individuals. The disease is characterized by collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, tubular dilation, and interstitial inflammation.

Pathology of HIVAN:

HIVAN primarily affects the glomeruli and tubules of the kidneys. The disease is characterized by two distinct pathological changes:

Collapsing Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS): This is the hallmark of HIVAN, characterized by the collapse and sclerosis of glomerular capillary tufts, along with hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the overlying podocytes. Podocyte injury is a crucial factor in the development of FSGS, and viral proteins from HIV have been shown to directly injure podocytes, leading to proteinuria and progressive renal dysfunction.

Tubulointerstitial disease: This involves tubular dilation, microcyst formation, and interstitial inflammation with infiltration of monocytes and lymphocytes. Tubular epithelial cells also show regenerative changes, with marked hypertrophy, hyperplasia, and mitotic figures. These changes result in progressive renal failure and tubular proteinuria.

HIV infects renal epithelial cells directly, including podocytes and tubular epithelial cells, contributing to the pathogenesis of HIVAN. HIV genes have been found in these cells in individuals with HIVAN, and the expression of HIV proteins in these cells can lead to dysregulation of cell cycle processes, leading to the characteristic pathological changes of the disease.

Clinical Presentation and Management of HIVAN:

HIVAN usually presents in patients with advanced HIV infection or AIDS. The typical clinical features include heavy proteinuria, rapidly progressive renal failure, and large echogenic kidneys on ultrasound. It disproportionately affects individuals of African descent.

The mainstay of treatment for HIVAN is antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can lead to significant improvement in renal function and proteinuria. Other treatment strategies may include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) to reduce proteinuria, and dialysis or kidney transplantation for those with ESRD.

HIVAN is a severe complication of HIV infection, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. Understanding the unique pathological changes in the kidneys caused by HIV is critical to the diagnosis and management of this condition. With advances in antiretroviral therapy, the prognosis for patients with HIVAN has improved, but it remains a significant clinical challenge.

What are the expected questions from the above article

  1. What are the characteristic pathological features of HIVAN?
  2. How does HIV infection lead to the development of HIVAN at a cellular level?
  3. What is the role of podocytes and tubular epithelial cells in the pathogenesis of HIVAN?
  4. How does HIVAN typically present clinically?
  5. What are the main treatment strategies for managing HIVAN?
  6. How does antiretroviral therapy influence the course of HIVAN?
  7. What is the impact of HIVAN on the morbidity and mortality of individuals with HIV infection?