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Transplant nephropathology: Wherefrom, wherein, and whereto.

Renal pathology is a relatively recent entry in nephrology. While diseases of the kidney are old, their study began in the 19th century with the report of Richard Bright of the lesions of end-stage kidney disease. Its easy diagnosis from albuminuria soon elevated Bright's nephritis into a leading cause of death. The transformative events in the care of these cases were renal replacement therapy that converted a fatal into a chronic disease, and kidney biopsy that allowed study of the course and pathogenesis of kidney disease. Apart from its fundamental contributions to clinical nephrology, biopsy of renal allografts became an integral component of the evaluation and care of kidney transplant recipients. The Banff transplant pathology conferences launched in 1991 led to developing the classification of allograft pathology into an essential element in the evaluation, treatment, and care of allograft recipients with spirit of discovery. That success came at the cost of increasing complexity leading to the recent realization that it may need the refinement of its consensus-based system into a more evidence-based system with graded statements that are easily accessible to the other disciplines involved in the care of transplanted patients. Collaboration with other medical disciplines, allowing public comment on meeting reports, and incorporation of generative artificial intelligence (AI) are important elements of a successful future. The increased pace of innovation brought about by AI will likely allow us to solve the organ shortage soon and require new classifications for xenotransplantation pathology, tissue engineering pathology, and bioartificial organ pathology.

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