A systematic review of the role of C4d in the diagnosis of acute antibody-mediated rejection Journal Articles uri icon

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  • In this study, we conducted a systematic review of the literature to re-evaluate the role of C4d in the diagnosis of acute antibody-mediated rejection of kidney allografts. Electronic databases were searched until September 2013. Eligible studies allowed derivation of diagnostic tables for the performance of C4d by immunofluorescence or immunohistochemistry with comparison to histopathological features of acute antibody-mediated rejection and/or donor-specific antibody (DSA) assays. Of 3492 unique abstracts, 29 studies encompassing 3485 indication and 868 surveillance biopsies were identified. Assessment of C4d by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry exhibited slight to moderate agreement with glomerulitis, peritubular capillaritis, solid-phase DSA assays, DSA with glomerulitis, and DSA with peritubular capillaritis. The sensitivity and specificity of C4d varied as a function of C4d and comparator test thresholds. Prognostically, the presence of C4d was associated with inferior allograft survival compared with DSA or histopathology alone. Thus, our findings support the presence of complement-dependent and -independent phenotypes of acute antibody-mediated rejection. Whether the presence of C4d in combination with histopathology or DSA should be considered for the diagnosis of acute antibody-mediated rejection warrants further study.


  • Sapir-Pichhadze, Ruth
  • Curran, Simon P
  • John, Rohan
  • Tricco, Andrea C
  • Uleryk, Elizabeth
  • Laupacis, Andreas
  • Tinckam, Kathryn
  • Sis, Banu
  • Beyene, Joseph
  • Logan, Alexander G
  • Kim, S Joseph

publication date

  • January 2015