The ultrastructural quantitative aspects of peritubular capillary basement membrane multilayering (PTCBML) were examined in 57 kidney transplant biopsies with transplant glomerulopathy (TG). The measurements included three cutoffs [permissive: 1 PTC with 5 basement membrane (BM) layers, intermediate: 3 PTCs with 5 layers or 1 PTC with 7 layers, strict: 1 PTC with 7 layers and 2 PTCs with 5 layers] and the mean number of BM layers (PTCcirc). Two groups were assigned, namely patients with mild TG (Banff cg1a and cg1b) and those with moderate-to-severe TG (cg2 and cg3). Their respective clinical, serological, and morphological characteristics were then compared. The clinical data revealed that mild TG corresponded to early chronic antibody-mediated rejection (cABMR), while moderate-to-severe TG corresponded to the advanced stage of the disease. The permissive threshold displayed the lowest specificity (73 %) and the highest sensitivity (83 %) for moderate-to-severe TG, and its corresponding PTCcirc value was 3 layers. In contrast, the strict threshold—adopted by the Banff 2013 classification—displayed a specificity and sensitivity of 93 and 52 %, respectively, and the corresponding PTCcirc was 4 layers. In mild TG, 26 % of the cases met the permissive cutoff and 6 % the strict cutoff. Mild TG was associated with a lower PTCcirc (2.6 layers vs 4.5 layers in moderate-to-severe TG; p < 0.0001). Amongst the various criteria, the permissive criterion was associated most frequently with mild TG, and had prognostic relevance. Because of this, we propose its usage as a marker of early cABMR-induced PTCBML if non-alloimmune causes of PTCBML can be ruled out.
- Chronic antibody-mediated rejection
- Peritubular capillaries
- Renal transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology