Transitional epithelial lesions of the ureter in renal transplant rejection

J. P. Katz, S. M. Greenstein, A. Hakki, A. Millek, S. M. Katz, S. Simonian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The spectrum of ureteric lesions of human renal allografts, long attributed exclusively to postsurgical com- plications such as ischemia, has recently been shown to include the types of rejection seen in the kidney. Since the rejected ureter also exhibits transitional epithelial lesions that may impact on renal and ureteral function, we studied, by light, immunohistochemical, immunoflu- orescent, and electron microscopic techniques, ureters of 65 irreversibly rejected kidneys. Seven unused cadaver kidneys served as controls. Urothelial lesions, noticed in 57 of 65 ureters (88%), ranged from minimal basal vacuolization to complete sloughing with or without necrosis of the epithelial lining. Epithelial exfoliation was noticed in 31 cases (54.4%), and basal vacuolization, severe enough to produce cleavage of the epithelial junctions and thus create bullae, was noticed in 21 cases (36.8%). Immunofluorescent and immunoperoxi- dase stains, performed in 16 cases, were all positive for immunoglobulins but yielded varied results ranging from granular to linear staining, particularly in the region of the basal cells and the basement membrane. Electron microscopic findings confirmed the light microscopic alterations. By contrast, control ureters showed no lesions. Urothelial ureteric lesions might impede ureteral functions and result in obstruction or infection, thus compounding the consequences of renal allograft rejection. Moreover, elucidation of the pathophysiology of the process will advance the understanding of various cutaneous and transitional epithelial autoimmune conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-714
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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