Twenty-five years of RENHIS: a history of histopathological studies within EUVAS

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In the early 1990s, an international working group of experienced renal pathologists, the Renal Histology group, set up a scoring system for biopsies with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated glomerulonephritis. This scoring system subdivided glomerular, interstitial and vascular lesions and served as a tool for the evaluation of all renal biopsies from studies of the European Vasculitis Study Group (EUVAS). Histopathological studies gave new insights into the prediction of renal outcome in patients with ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis. Percentage of normal glomeruli and a selected number of interstitial parameters were reliable predictors of long-term follow-up glomerular filtration rate in all studies. Out of these results, a histopathological classification distinguishing focal, crescentic, mixed and sclerotic classes of ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis was developed. Until today, 13 studies have validated this classification system. Future studies will try to determine if and how renal histology could be helpful in guiding treatment of ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis.

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