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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Banff study of pathologic changes in lung allograft biopsy specimens with donor-specific antibodies

  • Author(s): Wallace, WD
  • Li, N
  • Andersen, CB
  • Arrossi, AV
  • Askar, M
  • Berry, GJ
  • Denicola, MM
  • Neil, DA
  • Pavlisko, EN
  • Reed, EF
  • Remmelink, M
  • Sam Weigt, S
  • Weynand, B
  • Zhang, JQ
  • Budev, MM
  • Farver, CF
  • et al.

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© 2016 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Background The diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in the lung transplant is still an area under investigation. We performed a blinded multicenter study to determine if any statistically significant histologic findings in transbronchial biopsy specimens from lung transplant patients correlate with the presence of donor-specific antibodies (DSAs). Methods We asked 9 pathologists with experience in lung transplantation to evaluate 161 lung transplant biopsy specimens for various histologic parameters. The findings were correlated with antibody status positive for DSAs, positive for non-DSAs, and no antibodies (NABs) present. The significance of each histologic variable was reviewed. Results We found no statistically significant association with acute cellular rejection, airway inflammation, or bronchiolitis obliterans and the presence or absence of antibodies. However, biopsy specimens with DSAs had a statistically significant difference vs NABs in the setting of acute lung injury, with or without diffuse alveolar damage (p = 0.0008), in the presence of capillary neutrophilic inflammation (p = 0.0014), and in samples with endotheliitis (p = 0.0155). In samples with complement 4d staining, there was a trend but no statistically significant difference between specimens associated with DSAs and specimens with NABs. Conclusions Capillary inflammation, acute lung injury, and endotheliitis significantly correlated with DSAs. The infrequently observed diffuse staining for complement 4d limits the usefulness of this stain.

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