Tubuloreticular Inclusions in the Absence of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and HIV Infection: A Report of Three Pediatric Cases

Ayah Elmaghrabi, Elizabeth Brown, Ei Khin, Jared Hassler, Allen R. Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Tubuloreticular inclusions (TRIs) are subcellular structures located within the cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum. Formation of TRIs has been linked to the exposure of excess interferon (IFN), either from endogenous or exogenous sources. In renal disease, TRIs have been most commonly associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and human immunodeficiency virus-associated nephropathy (HIVAN). Case reports of patients with renal biopsies showing TRIs without underlying SLE or HIV are infrequent in adults, and to our knowledge none have been reported in children. We report 3 pediatric cases in which the renal biopsy showed TRIs on electron microscopy without underlying SLE or HIV infection. The first patient presented at 2 years of age with nephrotic syndrome and renal failure. His renal biopsy revealed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and TRIs. The second patient presented at 6 months of age with infantile nephrotic syndrome, and his renal biopsy revealed membranous glomerulopathy and TRIs. The last patient presented at 4 years of age with acute kidney injury of unclear etiology leading to chronic kidney disease. Her biopsy revealed acute and chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis with TRIs. Despite extensive evaluation in all 3 patients, including testing for HIV infection and SLE, we could not identify an underlying etiology to explain the presence of TRIs. In conclusion, renal biopsy with TRIs in the absence of underling SLE and HIV remains obscure. We propose a possible role for excess IFN triggered by an abnormal immune response to common viral infections in the formation of TRIs and renal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalCase Reports in Nephrology and Dialysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2 2017


  • Cytomegalovirus
  • HIV
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Tubuloreticular inclusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tubuloreticular Inclusions in the Absence of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and HIV Infection: A Report of Three Pediatric Cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this