Kidney lesions in Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a light-, immunofluorescence-, and electron-microscopic study.
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.
Bradford, WD; Croker, BP; Tisher, CC
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