A proposed histopathologic classification, scoring, and grading system for renal amyloidosis: standardization of renal amyloid biopsy report

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Apr;134(4):532-44. doi: 10.5858/134.4.532.


Context: A disease associated with amyloid deposits, called amyloidosis, is associated with characteristic electron microscopic appearance, typical x-ray pattern, and specific staining. Renal involvement mainly occurs in AA amyloidosis and AL amyloidosis and usually progresses to renal failure.

Objective: The renal histopathologic changes with amyloidosis comprise a spectrum. Clear relationships between the extent of amyloid deposition and the severity of clinical manifestations have not been demonstrated. Whether there is a lack of clinicopathologic correlation is not clear, but studies have revealed the need for standardization of the renal amyloid biopsy report. With these objectives in mind, we proposed a histopathologic classification, scoring, and grading system. Renal amyloidosis was divided into 6 classes, similar to the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Amyloid depositions and other histopathologic lesions were scored. The sum of these scores was termed the renal amyloid prognostic score and was divided into 3 grades.

Data sources: AA amyloidosis was detected in 90% of cases, mostly related to familial Mediterranean fever. Positive correlations between class I and grade I, class VI and grade III, and class III and grade II were observed. Also, a positive correlation was identified between severity of glomerular amyloid depositions, interstitial fibrosis, and inflammation. Because of the inadequacy of the patients' records and outcomes, different therapy regimes, and etiologies, clinical validation of this study has not been completed.

Conclusions: Standardization of the renal amyloid pathology report might be critical for patients' medication and comparison of outcome and therapeutic trials between different clinics. Because of our AA to AL amyloidosis ratio and the predisposition of familial Mediterranean fever-related AA amyloidosis, there is a need for further international collaborative studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / genetics
  • Amyloid / metabolism
  • Amyloidosis / classification*
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / metabolism
  • Amyloidosis / pathology*
  • Biopsy / standards
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Glomerular Mesangium / metabolism
  • Glomerular Mesangium / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / classification*
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Reference Standards
  • Turkey


  • Amyloid