Objective: To document the histological findings in Jamaican children undergoing renal biopsy in order to determine the relative prevalence of varying types of glomerular disease in the island.
Methods: This study analyses retrospectively the renal histology in all Jamaican children less than age 12 years undergoing their first adequate renal biopsy between January 1985 and December 2008. Clinicopathological data were obtained solely from the histology reports from the University Hospital of the West Indies where all paediatric renal biopsies are processed.
Results: Of the 270 children, aged 1 month to 11 years (mean 7.58 years), 147 [58.1%] were males. The commonest indications for renal biopsy were nephrotic syndrome (57.4%) and glomerulonephritis (30%). Most biopsied children (260/270) had glomerular disease.
The predominant glomerulonephritides were diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis (DPGN) (27.7%) and mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MesGN) (25.5%). Glomerular disease was idiopathic in 136/260 (53%) but was infection-associated in 32.3% (84 cases) of which Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN) was the commonest (75%) – predominantly DPGN (74.6%). Hepatitis B followed at 15.5% (13/84) manifested as membranous nephropathy in 83.3% (10/12). In patients with SS disease, DPGN was the commonest histology (47.4%). Systemic lupus erythematosus accounted for 5% of all renal biopsies. Over time, PSGN occurred less frequently, with a parallel reduction in DPGN and MesGN.
Conclusion: In Jamaican children, DPGN is the commonest nephritis. Membranous nephropathy is primarily due to Hepatitis B. The commonest histology in SS disease is DPGN. The role of infection in the pathogenesis of renal disease in Jamaican children is probably underestimated.