Histopathology of a human allografted kidney with clinically sufficient function

Clin Transplant. 2000:14 Suppl 3:25-9. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0012.2000.0140s3025.x.


To clarify the clinico-pathological significance of protocol biopsy and clinically silent rejection in the management of renal graft recipients, we selected a total of 139 (23%) from 604 biopsy specimens according to the following criteria: 1) less than 1.4 mg/dL of serum creatinine and 2) more than 1,500 mL/d of urine volume at time of biopsy. Clinical indications for the biopsy were classified into five categories: i) protocol biopsy (73 specimens), including 69 cases at discharge post-transplantation; ii) slight increase in serum creatinine (32); iii) proteinuria (20); iv) evaluation of pulse-therapy (13); and v) fever elevation (1). Except for the last category, the specimens were histopathologically diagnosed as being normal in 50 (68%), 6 (17%), 1 (5%), and 5 (38%) specimens, respectively. Even borderline changes, and mild acute rejection, as well as drug-induced nephropathy were included, implying the existence of clinically silent rejection or drug-induced nephropathy. Obvious diversity in the histopathological diagnosis was noted in category iii) showing proteinuria, which was mainly caused by chronic rejection, drug-induced nephropathy and glomerulonephritis. The graft survival rate was no different among the four categories, except for category v). These results indicate that biopsies obtained from functionally sufficient renal grafts could provide useful information in the management of the recipients. The clinical significance of protocol biopsy awaits further clarification by the analysis of a large number of cases.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Graft Rejection / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / pathology*
  • Proteinuria / diagnosis


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Creatinine