Histologic Case Definition of an Atypical Glomerular Immune-Complex Deposition Following Kidney Transplantation.
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JournalKidney international reports
AbstractIntroduction: Immune-complex deposition in the transplanted kidney can present as well-phenotyped recurrent or de novo glomerular disease. However, a subset, herein termed immune-complex glomerulopathy not otherwise specified (ICG-NOS), defies classification. We quantified, categorized, and characterized cases of transplant ICG-NOS occurring at a single US academic medical center. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our single-institution pathology database (July 2007-July 2018) to identify and categorize all cases of immune-complex deposition in kidney allografts (based on immunofluorescence microscopy). We extracted clinicopathologic and outcome data for ICG-NOS (i.e., immune complex deposition not conforming to any well-characterized glomerular disease entity). Results: Of 104 patients with significant immune deposits, 28 (27%) were classified as ICG-NOS. We created 5 mutually exclusive ICG-NOS categories: Full-house, Quasi-full-house, IgA-rich, C1q-rich, and C1q-poor. Overall, 16 (57%) patients met criteria for definite or possible allograft rejection, including 9 (32%) with antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), 3 (11%) suspicious for ABMR, 1 (4%) with T-cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), and 9 (32%) with borderline TCMR. After a median follow-up of 2.3 (range, 0.1-14.0) years after biopsy, 7 (25%) allografts had failed and an additional 8 (29%) had persistent renal dysfunction (hematuria, 14%; proteinuria, 21%; and estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2, 11%). Conclusion: In contrast to prior studies, our findings suggest that ICG-NOS is not necessarily a benign glomerular process and that there may be an association between ICG-NOS and alloimmunity. Our immunofluorescence-based classification provides a framework for future studies aiming to further elucidate ICG-NOS pathogenesis and prognosis.