The 2018 Banff Working Group classification of definitive polyomavirus nephropathy: A multicenter validation study in the modern era

Am J Transplant. 2021 Feb;21(2):669-680. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16189. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


Polyomavirus nephropathy (PVN) remained inadequately classified until 2018 when the Banff Working Group published a new 3-tier morphologic classification scheme derived from in-depth statistical analysis of a large multinational patient cohort. Here we report a multicenter "modern-era" validation study that included 99 patients with definitive PVN transplanted post January 1, 2009 and followed the original 2018 study design. Results validate the PVN classification, that is, the 3 PVN disease classes predicted clinical presentation, allograft function, and outcome independent of therapeutic intervention. PVN class 1 compared to classes 2 and 3 was diagnosed earlier (16.9 weeks posttransplant [median], P = .004), and showed significantly better function at 24 months postindex biopsy (serum creatinine 1.75 mg/dl, geometric mean, vs class 2: P = .037, vs class 3: P = .013). Class 1 presented during long-term follow-up with a low graft failure rate: 5% class 1, vs 30% class 2, vs 50% class 3 (P = .009). Persistent PVN was associated with an increased risk for graft failure (and functional decline in class 2 at 24 months postdiagnosis; serum creatinine with persistence: 2.48 mg/dL vs 1.65 with clearance, geometric means, P = .018). In conclusion, we validate the 2018 Banff Working Group PVN classification that provides significant clinical information and enhances comparative data analysis.

Keywords: classification systems: Banff classification; clinical research/practice; complication: infectious; infection and infectious agents - viral: BK/JC/polyoma; infectious disease; kidney disease; kidney transplantation/nephrology; pathology/histopathology; translational research/science.