ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005


The Latest on X

Kidney Week

Please note that you are viewing an archived section from 2022 and some content may be unavailable. To unlock all content for 2022, please visit the archives.

Abstract: FR-PO679

Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccine-Associated Collapsing Focal and Segmental Glomerulosclerosis

Session Information

Category: Glomerular Diseases

  • 1303 Glomerular Diseases: Clinical‚ Outcomes‚ and Trials


  • Jweehan, Duha A., UConn Health, Farmington, Connecticut, United States

A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mRNA vaccine was invented as a mitigation strategy to control COVID- 19 pandemic and as a promising approach to reduce the spread of COVID- 19 infection among population worldwide with impressive reduction in new COVID- 19 infection cases. We report a first case of collapsing focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) was diagnosed post-second dose of SARS- CoV-2 Moderna vaccine.

Case Description

A 75-year-old Caucasian female with unremarkable medical history who was admitted anasarca started 6 weeks after receiving the second dose of SARS- CoV-2 Moderna vaccine. She was found to have anuric acute kidney injury,blood pressure 210/110 mmHg. Laboratory results showed serum creatinine 8.2 mg/dl, serum albumin 2.6 g/dl. Urine microscopic showed numerous granular casts and tubular epithelial cells. 24 hr. urinary collection revealed proteinuria of 6.9 g. Transthoracic echocardiogram was normal. Kidneys were normal in size with increased cortical echogenicity on renal ultrasound. Unremarkable comprehensive workup.
Kidney biopsy showed segmental sclerosis with associated hyperplastic visceral epithelial cells with intracytoplasmic protein reabsorption droplets. The associated capillary loops appeared collapsed. Immunofluorescence showed segmental glomerular staining for IgM, C3 and C1q (3+).


Several case reports have been published suggesting a temporal association between glomerular disease and relapsing glomerular disease after receiving SARS-CoV-2 RNA (mRNA) vaccines of either Pfizer- Bio-Tech or Moderna mRNA-1273,
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines generate humoral and cell- mediated immune response by CD4 and CD8 expansion to T helper-based response with production of interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor- alpha, interleukin-2 and antibody production predominantly of immunoglobulin G1 and IgG subclass.That suggests cell- mediated immune reaction that may cause podocyte injury or recurrence of glomerular disease. Potential mechanism of podocyte injury post SARS- CoV-2 mRNA vaccine may be triggered by cytokine-medicated response, direct toxic effect or a rapid T cell- medicated immune response and lead to podocytopathy.
Further investigations are needed to establish the causal relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and glomerular injury in susceptible individuals. Increase awareness in that regard might help to expand database of those cases.