Histopathology and Outcome of Acute Humoral Rejection in Renal Allografts

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2011 Jun 1;3:919-28. doi: 10.2741/196.


Our purpose was to see if histopathologic features of acute antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in renal allografts have prognostic value; and to compare two-year graft survival with and without additional therapy with plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). We reviewed renal allograft biopsies taken within the first 6 months after transplant from patients with C4d positive AMR, performed between January 2000 to December 2005 (n=57). We formed two groups: Group 1: biopsied between 2003 and 2005 (n=26), when C4d staining was routinely performed and option for plasmapheresis and IVIG was available; Group 2: biopsied between 2000 and 2002 (n=31), retrospectively found to be C4d positive. Patients whose biopsies showed cortical necrosis or arterial fibrinoid necrosis had early graft loss. Other histopathologic features did not statistically correlate with graft loss. Overall, additional plasmapheresis/IVIG treatment did not show convincing improvement in graft survival or function at 2 years post-transplant, but all six patients with thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) who received plasmapheresis/IVIG had functioning grafts at two-year follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / pathology*
  • Graft Rejection / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Plasmapheresis / methods
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies / therapy*
  • Transplantation, Homologous / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous