Hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome (HUVS) is a small vessel vasculitis characterized by hypocomplementemia and urticaria-like exanthema. Some cases also display abdominal pain and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) with immune complex deposits. We treated a case of HUVS with biopsy-proven gastrointestinal vasculitis and atypical histological findings in a kidney biopsy. The 36-year-old Japanese man, who was previously diagnosed with diffuse panbronchiolitis, visited our hospital due to transient urticaria-like exanthema and rapid deterioration of kidney function. On admission, the skin lesion was found to be only pigmentation, showing no vasculitis by skin biopsy. In laboratory findings, renal dysfunction with hematuria and proteinuria and hypocomplementemia were observed. Gastrointestinal vasculitis was proven by endoscopy and biopsy of the mucosa. Kidney biopsy revealed MPGN with crescents. No immune complex deposits were observed by immunofluorescence or electron microscopy. Additional examination revealed high titers of anti-C1q antibody. The patient was diagnosed with HUVS and treated with corticosteroids and plasma exchange. Although renal function and gastrointestinal vasculitis partially improved, infectious pneumonia frequently recurred. His renal dysfunction began to progress again and reached end-stage kidney disease. This is the first case of HUVS with biopsy-proven gastrointestinal vasculitis and MPGN without immune complex deposits. Notably, in some case of HUVS, anti-C1q antibody may activate the alternative complement pathway without immune complex deposits, resulting in renal injury.
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