Immune complex deposition in kidney allografts can include both recurrent and de novo processes. Recurrent glomerulonephritis is a well-recognized phenomenon and has been shown to be a common cause of allograft failure. De novo immune complex–mediated disease remains relatively poorly characterized, likely owing to the less frequent use of immunofluorescence and electron microscopy in the transplant setting. We performed a retrospective review of kidney allograft biopsies showing glomerular immune complex deposition. Cases with de novo deposits were identified and further organized into two groups depending on whether the immune complex deposition could be clinically and/or histologically classified. Thirty-two patients with de novo immune complex deposition were identified over a 7-year period. A broad range of immune complex–mediated injuries were observed, the majority (63%) of which could be readily classified either clinically or histologically. These included cases of membranous glomerulonephropathy, IgA nephropathy, infection-related glomerulonephritis and glomerulonephritis related to an underlying autoimmune process. A smaller subset of patients (37%) demonstrated immune complex deposition that was difficult to histologically or clinically classify. These patients typically showed mild mesangial immune complex deposition with co-dominant IgG and IgM staining by immunofluorescence microscopy. The presence of concurrent antibody-mediated rejection and donor-specific antibody positivity was significantly higher in the unclassifiable group. The significance of these deposits and their possible relationship to allograft rejection deserves further investigation.
- Immune complex deposition
- Kidney Biopsy
- Kidney transplant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine