Kidney nontumor
Associated with systemic conditions

Author: Nikhil Sangle, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 26 March 2018, last major update December 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Preeclampsia [title] kidney

Cite this page: Sangle, N. Preeclampsia. website. Accessed November 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
Clinical features
  • 5 - 7% of first pregnancies, usually affects women at extremes of reproductive age
  • In subsequent pregnancies, associated with multiple births, fetal hydrops
  • Called eclampsia if convulsions develop
  • May be caused by primary endothelial cell injury causing local intravascular coagulation
  • Good prognosis; glomerular changes and blood pressure return to normal within weeks of delivery
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Enlarged, swollen and bloodless glomeruli with capillary lumina obliterated by swollen endothelial cells
  • No / mild hypercellularity; may have herniation of capillary tuft into proximal tubule (tufting)
  • Rare crescent formation in severe cases; normal afferent arterioles
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Various images

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Glomerular endotheliosis

Immunofluorescence description
  • Fibrinogen deposits, occasionally IgM
Electron microscopy description
  • Lysosomal-like, single membrane lined vacuoles within cytoplasm of endothelium and mesangial cells
  • Some vacuoles contain bland lipids or have myelin-like figures
Electron microscopy images

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Marked endothelial cell swelling
and vacuolization and extensive
epithelial foot-process effacement
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Swollen endothelial cell with epithelial
foot processes intact (A), swollen
endothelial and mesangial cells showing
prominent vacuolization on capillary lumina