ATLAS OF RENAL PATHOLOGY

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Polyoma Virus Infection

Pathology Editor: Agnes Fogo, MD
Medical Photographer: Brent Weedman

 
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Fig 1. Polyoma virus BK infection occurs in the transplant or other settings of immunosuppression. Its name reflects that it was originally isolated from patient B.K. There is a pleomorphic interstitial infiltrate composed of lymphocytes and plasma cells with occasional admixed PMNs and characteristic viral inclusions in tubular epithelial cells, as shown here. The infected tubular cells often are enlarged, and in some cases may even resemble the inclusions of cytomegalovirus infection. The viral inclusions are intranuclear, basophilic and smudgy. (PAS, original magnification X200).
 
 
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Fig 2. The enlarged, basophilic, smudgy viral inclusions typical of BK polyoma virus nephropathy are seen in the tubular epithelium in this renal transplant case. (Jones' Silver Stain, original magnification X1000).
 
 
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Fig 3. BK polyoma virus nephropathy may also show cleared viral inclusions in tubular cells, as illustrated in this case, rather than the enlarged, basophilic viral changes illustrated above. (Jones' Silver Stain, original magnification X200).
 
 
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Fig 4. Immunostaining is a useful diagnostic tool for suspected cases of BK polyoma virus nephropathy, as shown here with positive staining of an enlarged nuclear inclusion with antibody to the related simian kidney virus SV40. Electron microscopic examinations may thus not be needed, but reveal a characteristic 40 to 45 nm virus (smaller than papilloma virus) and viruses closely packed in a paracrystalline array, distinctive from the electron microscopic morphology of cytomegalovirus. (Antibody to SV40, original magnification X 400).
 

From the Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
Address author queries to Agnes Fogo, MD, Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, MCN C-3310, Nashville, TN 37232. E-mail:Agnes.Fogo@vanderbilt.edu
Am J Kidney Dis 37(1):E1, 2001 (available www.ajkd.org)
 Copyright 2001 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.

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