Low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy (LVSEM) has been reported to aid in diagnosis of renal biopsy. This study evaluated early transplant glomerulopathy in kidney transplant recipients using LVSEM.
We selected 4 biopsies of cg0, 5 biopsies of cg1a, 5 biopsies of cg1b, and 4 biopsies of cg2 lesions that had been evaluated by light microscopy (LM) and transmission electron microscopy from recipients with acute/active or chronic, active antibody-mediated rejection (AABMR or CAABMR). Renal allograft paraffin sections (1 µm thickness) were stained with periodic acid-methenamine silver and observed using LVSEM. The cg score was based on the Banff classification. The parameter “percentage of duplicated capillary number” was calculated as follows: in 1 glomerulus with glomerular basement membrane (GBM) duplication, the total duplicated capillary number/the total number of capillaries ×100.
In all 4 biopsy specimens with AABMR showing cg0, LVSEM revealed GBM duplication not identified by LM. The average percentage of duplicated capillary number per glomerulus with GBM duplication was higher when observed by LVSEM than when observed by LM in all cg1b and cg2 biopsy specimens.
LVSEM revealed early GBM duplication in AABMR. Early GBM duplication might progress in the very early phase of AABMR. GBM duplication was more frequently detected by LVSEM than by LM in biopsy specimens with early chronic, active antibody mediated rejection. Thus, LVSEM may be useful in diagnosis of early transplant glomerulopathy.

© 2020 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.