Evolving criteria for the diagnosis of antibody-mediated rejection in renal allografts

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Purpose of review

To review changes in the Banff schema for antibody-mediated renal allograft rejection over the past decade, including key revisions agreed upon during and immediately subsequent to the 2017 Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology.

Recent findings

The original Banff schema for diagnosis of acute and chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) in renal allografts was formulated at the 2001 and 2007 Banff Conferences, and required histologic (primarily microvascular inflammation and transplant glomerulopathy), immunohistologic (C4d in peritubular capillaries), and serologic [circulating donor-specific antibodies (DSA)] evidence for a definitive diagnosis of ABMR. This schema was updated at the 2013 Banff Conference, recognizing C4d-negative ABMR, intimal arteritis as a potential manifestation of ABMR, and revising definitions and thresholds for glomerulitis and transplant glomerulopathy to improve interobserver agreement and correlation with clinical, molecular, and serologic data. Compared with the 2007 criteria, Banff 2013 improved the sensitivity of the classification for diagnosing ABMR and the correlation of ABMR diagnosis with graft outcomes. At the 2017 Banff Conference, new modifications to the classification were discussed and have subsequently been agreed upon, accepting C4d and thoroughly validated molecular classifiers as surrogate markers for DSA.


From a consensus reached at the 2017 Banff Conference, updated criteria for diagnosis of active and chronic active ABMR have been developed that recognize C4d and molecular classifiers as surrogate markers for DSA. In addition, specific recommendations for the use of molecular diagnostics in the diagnosis of ABMR were developed.

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