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Value of electron microscopy in diagnosis of renal disease.
  1. J M Pearson,
  2. L J McWilliam,
  3. J D Coyne,
  4. A Curry
  1. Department of Pathological Sciences, University Hospital of South Manchester, Withington Hospital, Didsbury.


    AIMS--To assess the role and value of electron microscopy in the diagnosis of renal disease. METHODS--Retrospective evaluation of 88 renal biopsy specimens received for primary diagnosis by assessment of the contribution of electron microscopy to the final diagnosis in the knowledge of the light microscopy and immunofluorescence findings. RESULTS--Electron microscopy had an important diagnostic role in 75% of cases and was essential or necessary for diagnosis in 25%. In 25% of cases electron microscopy was considered unhelpful in diagnosis. CONCLUSION--Electron microscopy has an integral role in the diagnosis of renal disease, and tissue should be taken for electron microscopy in all cases if possible. In some selected cases once the light microscopy and immunofluorescence findings are known it may be possible to forego electron microscopic examination. Electron microscopy is particularly useful in the differential diagnosis of minimal change disease and the nephrotic syndrome.

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