Combination of Glomerular C4d and Morphologic Glomerular Lesions as a Possible Indicator in the Diagnosis of Acute or Chronic Active Antibody-Mediated Rejection

Yoo Jin Lee, Jeong Hyeon Lee, Cheol Woong Jung, Jun Gyo Gwon, Sun Young Ko, Junyong Lee, Sang Kyung Jo, Won Yong Cho, Myung Gyu Kim

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Background: Linear C4d staining in the peritubular capillaries is considered a sensitive and useful marker of active or chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) in transplanted kidneys. However, the diagnostic significance of glomerular C4d deposits (gC4d) is still undetermined. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association of gC4d with clinicopathologic features and to assess its diagnostic value. Methods: From 2013 to 2018, a total of 158 cases of allograft kidney biopsy specimens were obtained from the Korea University Anam Hospital. The histologic features were evaluated according to the Banff classification. The gC4d were determined through immunohistochemical analyses and classified based on scores of 0 to 3 according to the extent of gC4d. Results: A total of 73 cases (46.2%) showed gC4d, and 37 cases (23.4%), 23 cases (14.6%), and 13 cases (8.2%) were classified with a score of 1+, 2+, and 3+, respectively. The gC4d showed a significant correlation with antibody-associated histologic lesions, including peritubular capillaritis, glomerulitis, and transplant glomerulopathy (P < .001). However, gC4d showed no significant association with cell-mediated injuries such as tubulitis, interstitial inflammation, acute tubular necrosis, and thrombotic microangiopathy. Although positive gC4d alone was associated with nonspecific findings without ABMR, most cases of gC4d combined with glomerulitis or transplant glomerulopathy showed typical histologic features of ABMR, clinically with higher antibody titers and severe functional deterioration. Conclusions: Glomerular C4d deposits may be an alternate useful marker in the diagnosis of active or chronic active ABMR when combined with histologic features of glomerular lesions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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