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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Jan;22(1):176-86. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2009091005. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

Morphometric and visual evaluation of fibrosis in renal biopsies.

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1
Pathology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

Interstitial fibrosis is an outcome measure of increasing importance in clinical trials of both renal transplantation and native disease, but data on the comparative advantages of fibrosis measurement methods are limited. We compared four morphometric techniques and contrasted these with two visual fibrosis-scoring methods on trichrome-stained slides. Two morphometric methods included whole-slide digital images: collagen III immunohistochemistry and a new technique using trichrome and periodic acid-Schiff subtraction morphometry; the other two methods included Sirius Red with and without polarization on multiple digital fields. We evaluated 10 serial sections from 15 renal biopsies with a range of fibrosis extent and diagnoses on duplicate sections with each method on separate days. Three pathologists performed visual scoring on whole-slide images. Visual and morphometric techniques had good to excellent interassay reproducibility (R(2) = 0.62 to 0.96) and interobserver reproducibility (R(2) = 0.75 to 0.99, all P < 0.001). Morphometry showed less variation between observers than visual assessment (mean of 1% to 5% versus 11% to 13%). Collagen III, Sirius Red unpolarized, and visual scores had the strongest correlations (R(2) = 0.78 to 0.89), the greatest dynamic range, and the best correlation with estimated GFR (R(2) = 0.38 to 0.50, P < 0.01 to 0.001). Considering efficiency, reproducibility, and functional correlation, two current techniques stand out as potentially the best for clinical trials: collagen III morphometry and visual assessment of trichrome-stained slides.

PMID:
21115619
PMCID:
PMC3014046
DOI:
10.1681/ASN.2009091005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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