Background: Lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) is an important enzyme in cholesterol metabolism that is involved in the esterification of cholesterol. A lack of this enzyme results in deranged metabolic pathways that are not completely understood, resulting in abnormal deposition of lipids in several organs. Clinically, it manifests with proteinuria, dyslipidemia and corneal opacity with progressive chronic kidney disease resulting in end-stage renal disease.
Case Presentation: We herein present a case of a 30-year-old male with proteinuria that was not responsive to empiric management with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and oral steroids. Physical examination revealed corneal ring opacity involving both eyes. Urinalysis revealed an active sediment. The 24-h proteinuria was 3.55 grams. Family history was positive for renal disease and dyslipidemia. Viral serology for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) were negative. Serum complements were normal and anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) was negative. We elected for a renal biopsy that revealed characteristic features of LCAT deficiency. The diagnosis of LCAT deficiency was established with a combination of clinical and pathological findings.
Conclusions: Currently renal prognosis is poor but conservative management with ACE inhibitors and lipid lowering therapy in addition to steroids has been shown to retard progression to end-stage renal disease. However newer therapies such as gene replacement and recombinant LCAT replacement are being studied with promising preliminary results.