Analysis of different staining techniques for c4d detection in renal allograft biopsies

H Ludovico-Martins, C Silva, W R Teodoro, D Martini Filho, I L Noronha
Transplantation Proceedings 2009, 41 (3): 862-5
Capillary C4d deposition has been recognized as a marker of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR). Although the detection of capillary C4d by means of immunofluorescence (IF) in cryostat sections is well established, frozen tissue is not always available, thus limiting the diagnosis of AMR. The aim of the present study was to analyze different techniques for C4d staining and the prevalence of C4d in renal allograft biopsies. Detection of C4d was carried out using IF or immunohistochemistry (IHC) on frozen and paraffin sections of renal allograft biopsies available from the same patients. Biopsies obtained from 20 patients were classified into 3 groups: no rejection, acute rejection, and chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN). The capillary C4d deposition prevalence in frozen-IF, considered the gold standard technique for C4d detection, was 45% (9/20 cases). Compared with frozen-IF, the frozen-IHC technique presented an 85% concordance rate (17/20 cases; r = .70; P < .001; sensitivity = 77.8%; specificity = 90.9%). The paraffin-IF technique showed similar results, with an 80% concordance rate (16/20 cases; r = .64; P < .005; sensitivity = 55.6%; specificity = 100%), whereas C4d detection occurred in only 65% of paraffin-IHC cases (13/20; r = .30; not significant; sensitivity = 66.7%; specificity = 63.6%). No capillary C4d deposition was detected in cases without evidence of rejection. However, 4/7 cases (57%) of acute rejection were C4d positive. In the CAN group, 5/11 cases (45%) were C4d positive. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that frozen-IHC and paraffin-IF can be considered alternative techniques to frozen-IF for C4d detection. The paraffin-IHC technique displayed the lowest concordance rate for C4d detection.

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