Journal Article

A UK-wide trial of the Banff classification of renal transplant pathology in routine diagnostic practice.

P N Furness, U Kirkpatrick, N Taub, D R Davies and K Solez

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 12, issue 5, pages 995-100
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
A UK-wide trial of the Banff classification of renal transplant pathology in routine diagnostic practice.

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BACKGROUND: The Banff classification of renal transplant pathology has gained wide support since its introduction in 1993. There have been several studies which have tested its usefulness in the context of research-oriented centres. We sought to evaluate its use in a wider context. METHODS: We recruited pathologists from all but one of the renal transplant centres in the UK. Sections were circulated from 21 selected, 'difficult' cases, in all of which the clinical question was confirmation or exclusion of acute rejection, and in all of which a definite diagnosis had been obvious from the subsequent clinical course. Participants were asked first to diagnose or exclude acute rejection by their usual approach, then to apply the Banff classification. No clinical information was given beyond the time since engraftment, in order to confine the evaluation to the morphological features present in the sections. At the end of the study the subjective impressions of the participants were sought using a structured questionnaire. RESULTS: Using the Banff classification produced no detectable difference in the number of 'correct' diagnoses when compared with a conventional approach, irrespective of whether the 'correct' diagnosis is based on retrospective clinical information or on the consensus opinion of the pathologists involved, and irrespective of where in the Banff schema one applies a 'cut-off' for the diagnosis of acute rejection. However, the reproducibility of the diagnoses was improved. The results suggest that in the Banff classification the best 'cut-off' for the diagnosis of acute rejection is between Banff category 3 and category 4, although in this difficult area we found a large improvement in diagnostic accuracy if input of clinical information occurs. CONCLUSIONS: The improved reproducibility justifies the use of the Banff classification to harmonise approaches between centres, especially in research projects. While there are good reasons also to adopt it in routine diagnostic practice, further refinement is necessary before an improvement in the accuracy of diagnosis can be demonstrated.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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