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Keywords:

  • Peritubular capillary;
  • rejection;
  • renal transplantation

While glomerulitis is graded according to the Banff classification, no criteria for scoring peritubular capillaritis (PTC) have been established. We retrospectively applied PTC-scoring criteria to 688 renal allograft (46 preimplantation, 461 protocol, 181 indication) biopsies.

A total of 26.3% of all analyzed biopsies had peritubular capillaritis (implant 0%, protocol 17.6%, indication 45.5%; p < 0.0001). The most common capillaritis pattern was of moderate severity (5–10 luminal cells), focal in extent (10–50% of PTC), with a minority of neutrophils. A total of 24% of C4d− compared with 75% of C4d+ biopsies showed capillaritis (p < 0.0001). More than 80% of biopsies with glomerulitis had peritubular capillaritis. A total of 50.4% of biopsies with borderline or T-cell mediated rejection (TCMR) and 14.1% of biopsies without TCMR or antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) showed capillaritis (p < 0.0001). The inter-observer reproducibility of the PTC-scoring features was fair to moderate. Diffuse capillaritis detected in early protocol biopsies had significant negative prognostic impact in terms of glomerular filtration rate2 years posttransplantation. Indication biopsies show a significantly higher prevalence of capillaritis than protocol biopsies (45.5% vs. 17.6%; p < 0.0001). Capillaritis is more frequent and pronounced in ABMR, but can be observed in TCMR cases. Thus, scoring of peritubular capillaritis is feasible and can provide prognostic and diagnostic information in renal allograft biopsies.