2007 Working Formulation for the Standardization of Nomenclature in the Diagnosis of Lung Rejection
perivascular mononuclear infiltrates in alveolated parenchyma. Blood vessels, particularly venules, are
cuffed by small round, plasmacytoid, and transformed lymphocytes
forming a ring of 2 to 3 cells thick in the perivascular
adventitia. Cuffing is loose or compact but generally circumferential. No eosinophils or endothelialitis present.
||More frequent perivascular
infiltrates surrounding venules and arterioles readily recognizable at low
magnification, Usually a mix of activated lymphocytes, small
lymphocytes, plasmacytoid lymphocytes, macrophages, and eosinophils.
Frequent subendothelial infiltration by the mononuclear cells with
hyperplastic or regenerative changes in the endothelium
although there is expansion of the perivascular interstitium by
cells, there is no obvious infiltration by mononuclear cells into
adjacent alveolar septae or air spaces. Concurrent lymphocytic
bronchiolitis is not uncommon.
venules and arterioles by dense perivascular mononuclear cell
which are usually associated with endothelialitis; eosinophils and
occasional neutrophils are common. By definition, there is extension of
the inflammatory cell infiltrate into perivascular and
alveolar septae and air spaces. This may be single cell infiltration of alveolar walls or more prominent infiltration with septal expansion. Collections of alveolar
and/or type 2 alveolar cell hyperplasia may be seen in the airspaces in the zones of septal infiltration.
and air space infiltrates of mononuclear cells and prominent
pneumocyte damage and endothelialitis. May have intra-alveolar necrotic
macrophages, hyaline membranes, hemorrhage, and neutrophils; there
be associated parenchymal necrosis, infarction, or necrotizing
Perivascular inflammation may actually appear to be diminished due to extension of inflammation into alveolar septa and spaces. However, the obvious presence of numerous perivascular and interstitial
cells seen with grade A4 rejection permits distinction from
(reperfusion/ischemic) lung injury.
|Airway Inflammation: Lymphocytic Bronchiolitis
||No small airway inflammation
|B1R (Low-grade inflammation)
||Scattered to band-like collections of mononuclear
cells with or without eosinophils within the
submucosa of the bronchioles. No epithelial damage or intraepithelial lymphocytic infiltration.
|B2R (High-grade inflammation)
||Mononuclear cells in small airways are larger and activated; more frequent eosinophils and plasmacytoid cells. Epithelial damage present (variable necrosis, metasplasia, marked intraepithelial infiltration). Note: disproportionately high number of neutrophils is suggestive of infection.
|BX (Ungradeable inflammation)
||Sampling problems, infection, tangential cuts, or other artifacts preclude accurate assessment of small airway inflammation
|Chronic Airway Rejection (Bronchiolitis Obliterans)
|C0 (No evidence of obliterative bronchiolitis)
||No changes of obliterative bronchiolitis
|C1 (obliterative bronchiolitis present)
||Submucosal eosinophilic hyaline fibrosis in membranous and respiratory bronchioles with variable luminal occlusion, variable inflammation, variable secondary effects such as injury to smooth muscle and elastica, downstream mucostasis and/or foamy histiocyte collections
|Chronic Vascular Rejection
|Also known as accelerated graft vascular sclerosis. Fibrointimal thickening of arteries and veins. Venous changes may be more common in older individuals. Generally evident only on open biopsy material.
|Acute Antibody-Mediated (Humoral) Rejection
|No histologic features for antibody-mediated rejection in the lung were agreed upon. Likely that capillary injury and small vessel intimitis suggest humoral rejection, but these can be nonspecific and a multidisciplinary approach is recommended to reach consensus before issuing specific criteria. If humoral rejection is suspected, stains for C4d, C3d, CD31, CD68 might be performed.
|Non-Rejection Biopsy Findings and Other Differential Diagnostic Considerations
||May have perivascular inflammation, more prominent alveolar septal inflammation relative to perivascular cuffing; perivascular edema; neutrophilic inflammation with or without microabscesses; pneumocyte atypia; intranuclear and intracytoplasmic inclusions
||May have perivascular and interstitial inflammation mimicking acute rejection; granulomatous inflammation; diffuse alveolar damage, focal necrosis
||May occur with mycobacterial, fungal or herpesvirus infection; can be seen with Pneumocystis (see above)
||May show exogenous material with foreign body giant cell reaction; Lipid droplets, macrophages with large vacuoles; distal organizing pneumonia may occur
||Intra-alveolar fibromyxoid tissue with variable interstitial inflammation (may occur in multiple settings, e.g., infection; reperfusion/ischemic injury; prior severe acute rejection; may also be idiopathic/cryptogenic).
||Usually early posttransplant; usu. associated with neutrophils and acute lung injury; may have perivascular and interstitial infitrates in some cases, may lead to organizing pneumonia (see above)
|Large airway inflammation
||Most often seen in association with infection or aspiration; scarring of large airways is considered nonspecific (but should also prompt a search for similar changes in small airways).
|Bronchus associated lymphoid tissue
||Generally B lymphocyte nodules normally without true germinal centers, in submucosa of distal bronchi and bronchioles usu. at bifurcation points. May have prominent vascularity, well circumscribed with macrophages containing particulate matter. No epithelial injury, eosinophilia or neutrophilia.
|Smokers' type respiratory bronchiolitis
||Macrophages with brown or black pigment with or without iron accumulate around respiratory bronchioles. May have other features of chronicity such as goblet cell metaplasia, mucostasis, bronchiolar metaplasia, interstitial thickening with variable inflammation. May be donor-related.
|Alveolar septal fibrosis
||Potential association with late onset upper lobe fibrosis; currently considered nonspecific and difficult to interpret.
|Reference Stewart S et al., Revision of the 1996 Working Formulation for the Standardization of Nomenclature‚ in the Diagnosis of Lung Rejection. J Heart Lung Transplant 26:1229-42, 2007.