Renal allograft biopsies in the era of C4d staining: The need for change in the Banff classification system

Ziyad Al-Aly, Venkata Reddivari, Abdul Moiz, Geetha Balasubramanian, Cherise M. Cortese, Luis Salinas-Madrigal, Bahar Bastani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


C4d immunostaining in the peritubular capillaries (PTC) is a marker of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). We evaluated the histopathologic diagnoses of 388 renal transplant biopsies since the implementation of routine C4d immunostaining at our center. Of these, 155 (40%) biopsies had evidence of acute cellular rejection (ACR), out of which 119 (77%) had pure ACR, 31 (20%) had ACR with concomitant features of AMR, and five (3%) had ACR with focal C4d staining. Sixty-four (16%) biopsies exhibited features of AMR [33 (52%) pure AMR, and 31(48%) concomitant AMR and ACR]. One hundred and fifty-five (40%) biopsies had features of interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IFTA). Of these, 20 (13%) had concomitant AMR [13 (8.5%) had pure AMR and seven (4.5%) had concomitant ACR and AMR]. Creatinine at the time of biopsy was higher in patients with mixed ACR and AMR and the clinical behavior of mixed lesions is more aggressive over time. Despite having a lower serum creatinine at the time of biopsy, patients with IFTA experienced gradual decline in graft function over time. The pathologic findings in renal allograft biopsies are often mixed and mixed lesions appear to have more aggressive clinical behavior. These findings suggest the need for change in the Banff classification system to better capture the complexity of renal allograft pathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalTransplant International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Acute rejection
  • Antibody-mediated rejection
  • Banff classification
  • C4d
  • Cellular rejection
  • Chronic rejection
  • Renal allograft


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