Kidney lesions in Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a light-, immunofluorescence-, and electron-microscopic study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The essential pathologic lesion in Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a vasculitis that may involve the kidneys as well as the heart, brain, skin, and subcutaneous tissues. Histopathologic information concerning the response of the kidneys in RMSF is rather limited, however. In this study renal tissue from 17 children who died of RMSF was examined by light, electron, and immunofluorescence microscopy. A lymphocytic or mixed inflammation, or both, involving vessels and interstitium of the kidney was found in all patients. In addition, 10 patients had histologic evidence of acute tubular necrosis, and another 3 had glomerular lesions consisting of focal segmental tuft necrosis or increased cellularity secondary to neutophilic infiltration, or both. Immunofluorescence- and electron-microscopic studies failed to demonstrate immune-complex deposition within glomeruli, a finding that suggests that immunoglobulin and classic immune complexes were not involved in the pathogenesis of the renal lesions at the time of death. These findings suggest the possibility that the pathogenesis of the renal lesion in RMSF may be due to a direct action of the organism (Rickettsia rickettsii) on the vessel wall.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bradford, WD; Croker, BP; Tisher, CC

Published Date

  • November 1, 1979

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 381 - 392

PubMed ID

  • 525676

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2042469

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9440


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States