Has the 2004 revision of the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation grading system improved the reproducibility of the diagnosis and grading of cardiac transplant rejection?

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Cardiovascular pathology: the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.34). 08/2008; 18(4):198-204. DOI: 10.1016/j.carpath.2008.05.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We compared the interobserver reproducibility of the 1990 and 2004 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) grading system for cardiac rejection. The 2004 ISHLT grading system for cardiac allograft rejection did not improve reproducibility partly due to pathologists' disagreement in diagnosing Grades 1B/1R and 3A/2R rejection. To achieve better reproducibility, better criteria for defining 1B/1R vs. 3A/2R rejection and markers of myocyte injury are needed.

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    ABSTRACT: Inconsistencies in cardiac rejection grading systems corroborate the concept that the evaluation of inflammatory intensity and myocyte damage seems to be subjective. We studied in 36 patients the potential role of the immunohistochemical (IHC) counting of inflammatory cells in endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) as an objective tool, testing the hypothesis of correlation between the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation 2004 rejection and IHC counting of inflammatory cells. We observed a progressive increment in CD68+ cells/mm(2) (P = .000) and CD3+ cells/mm(2) (P = .000) with higher rejection grade. A strong correlation between the grade of cellular rejection and both CD68+ cells/mm(2) and CD3+ cells/mm(2) was obtained (P = .000). One patient with CD3+ and CD68+ cells/mm(2) above the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval for cells/mm(2) found in rejection grade 1R evolved to rejection grade 2R without treatment. In patients with 2R that did not respond to treatment the values of CD68+ or CD3+ cells were higher than the overall median values for rejection grade 2R. For diagnosis of rejection needing treatment, the CD68+ and CD3+ cells/mm(2) areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.956 and 0.934, respectively. IHC counting of mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate in EMB seems to have additive potential role in evaluation of EMB for the diagnosis and prognosis of rejection episodes.
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