From The RFN Archives: “Full House” Immunostaining

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Renal pathologists may throw out the term “full house” immunostaining…what does this mean?

This means quite simply that all five major immunofluorescent stains on a renal biopsy (IgM, IgG, IgA, C3, and C1q) are all positive.  The analogy holds true in that the “full house” in cards (3 of a kind plus a pair, to the left) is similar to the 3 types of immunoglobulins plus 2 types of complement which show positive staining.  
The classic situation for “full house” immunostaining occurs in lupus nephritis, in which there is immune complex deposition in the subendothelium and subepithelium.

Originally posted by Nate Hellman

1 comment

  1. This pattern should be differentiated from C1q nephropathy- a not uncommon diagnosis. The clinical and serological manifestations of lupus however will be absent in this condition.
    IgA nephropathy also has IgG and IgM. The hallmark is that IgA is dominant/ co-dominant in this condition. Ofcourse C1q will be absent. In lupus, IgG is the dominant deposit.

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