A critical appraisal of methods to grade transplant glomerulitis in renal allograft biopsies

I. Batal, J. G. Lunz, N. Aggarwal, A. Zeevi, E. Sasatomi, A. Basu, H. Tan, R. Shapiro, P. Randhawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Transplant glomerulitis is an increasingly recognized lesion in renal transplant biopsies. To develop a refined grading system, we defined glomerulitis by the presence of ≥5 leukocytes/glomerulus and evaluated 111 biopsies using three different grading systems: (i) percentage of glomerular involvement, (ii) peak inflammation in the most severely affected glomerulus and (iii) presence/absence of endocapillary occlusion by inflammatory cells. Endocapillary occlusion had no impact on graft survival, but was associated with increased serum creatinine, proteinuria and subsequent transplant glomerulopathy. Grading based on either percent or peak glomerular involvement correlated with graft failure and peritubular capillaritis. However, the percent glomerular involvement method had the additional advantage of displaying associations with: concurrent proteinuria, focal or diffuse immunoperoxidase peritubular capillary C4d staining, 1-year postbiopsy serum creatinine, subsequent detection of donor-specific antibody and development of transplant glomerulopathy. Patients with >75% glomerular involvement also revealed persistent high-grade glomerulitis on follow-up biopsies despite antirejection treatment. In conclusion, grading of glomerulitis is a meaningful exercise, and a quantification system based on percentage of glomerular involvement shows the most robust associations with clinical parameters and prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2442-2452
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute allograft rejection
  • glomerular disease
  • transplant glomerulitis
  • transplant glomerulopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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