Thrombotic Microangiopathy With Granulomatosis Interstitial Nephritis in an Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplant Patient: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Abu-Sayeef Mirza, Sean Verma, Liying Fu, Claude Bassil


Transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TA-TMA) is a rare complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with variable presentations. TA-TMA has often been described as a diagnosis of exclusion but a renal biopsy is rarely pursued to confirm the diagnosis, an essential step for our patient with renally limited TMA. We report a case report from the onconephrology clinic and review the literature associated with TA-TMA as it relates to diagnosis and treatment. A 45-year-old woman with acute myeloid leukemia and stage 3 chronic kidney disease underwent a matched unrelated donor allogenic HSCT. Postoperatively, she developed gastrointestinal graft versus host disease (GvHD) and was treated with tacrolimus, sirolimus, budesonide, and beclomethasone. Following discharge, she developed uncontrolled hypertension and required losartan, amlodipine, carvedilol, clonidine patch, and hydralazine as needed. On day 180 post-transplant, she developed lower extremity edema and acute kidney injury (AKI) with creatinine increasing to 2 mg/dL. On day 480 post-transplant, she developed worsening thrombocytopenia, anemia, new hematuria, left flank pain, and worsening renal function with creatinine peaking to 6 mg/dL. Peripheral smear revealed no schistocytes, lactate dehydrogenase of 265 mg/dL, and urinalysis with 100 mg/dL protein. ADAMTS 13 activity was normal (92%) and no inhibitor was detected. She became anuric and was started on hemodialysis. Renal biopsy revealed glomerular changes consistent with TA-TMA. During HSCT, systemic vascular endothelial injury triggers microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, platelet consumption, injury of glomerular endothelial cells and fibrin occluded renal capillaries. Thus, TA-TMA should be considered in HSCT patients with elevated LDH, proteinuria, hypertension, and AKI. However, a diagnosis is difficult to confirm without a renal biopsy. Treatment involves discontinuing potentially toxic agents such as calcineurin inhibitors and sirolimus, prescribing adequate antimicrobial treatment, and using renal replacement therapy if needed. A renal biopsy early in the course of disease not only confirms the diagnosis, but may limit the extent of disease.

J Hematol. 2017;6(2-3):52-58


Thrombotic microangiopathy; Bone marrow transplant; Interstitial nephritis; Renal biopsy

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Journal of Hematology, quarterly, ISSN 1927-1212 (print), 1927-1220 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.               
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