Histopathologic findings and classification of feline renal transplants

H. E V De Cock, A. E. Kyles, Stephen M Griffey, L. Bernsteen, C. R. Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Seventy-seven feline transplant kidney specimens, obtained from 1 to 3,183 days (9 years) after transplantation, were reevaluated histologically and classified on the basis of the Banff '97 guidelines for human renal transplant kidneys. Overall, this classification system appeared useful in detecting rejection reactions and confirmed the finding in humans that biopsies can diagnose subclinical rejection and therefore are an important diagnostic tool for the follow up of renal transplants. However, on the basis of serum creatinine values, the severity of the acute or active and chronic lesions was not accurately reflected by this scoring system. This is thought to be due to the significant differences in histologic rejection patterns, especially in acute or active rejection, in cats when compared with humans. Tubulitis, lymphocytic glomerulitis, and vasculitis, which are the main pillars of the Banff '97 acute or active rejection scoring system, are either rare or not found in cats. The presence of significant necrotizing glomerulitis and vasculitis in feline renal transplants might imply that the rejection is complicated by acute antibody-mediated rejection. Alternatively, cyclosporine toxicity also should be considered because some of these kidneys show other signs of cyclosporine toxicity. Finally, the significance of subcapsular and interlobular phlebitis, rarely described in human rejection reactions but a distinct entity in cats, is unknown. From this study, it is clear that there are significant differences in the histology of acute or active rejection between humans and cats and that a better understanding of the histologic appearance of renal allografts will be especially beneficial for treatment and prognostic purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-256
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Banff '97 classification
  • Feline renal transplant
  • Histopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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