Flow cytometry evaluation of urinary sediment in renal transplantation
The value of exfoliative urinary cytology for the diagnosis of different pathological conditions in renal transplantation is widely recognized. The method, however, has not yet gained full acceptance, mainly because identification of the different cells is not always possible by means of standard staining techniques. In view of its characteristics, flow cytometry (FC) seems to represent a consistently reliable, rapid and innovative approach for differentiating the various cells present in the urinary sediment and assessing their number. This study gives the examination result of 223 urinary specimens from 127 transplanted patients selected according to pathology. Sediment cells, collected from fresh urine samples, were washed, treated with a lysing solution, resuspended in saline solution and directly analysed in a FACSCAN cy-tometer. Morphological evaluation showed: a small number of cells in patients with stable renal function; a larger number of cells, with predominance of lymphocytes, during acute rejection episodes; an absolute predominance of neutrophils during bacterial infection; large-sized cellular debris in cases of post-transplant tubular necrosis; and small cell debris in cases of cyclosporine cytotoxicity. Lymphocyte surface-marker evaluation made it possible to differentiate lymphocyte populations observed during acute rejection episodes (cytotoxic T-cell, CD8 and HLA class II and NK cells) from those detected during bacterial infection (T-cell CD4 positive). These results suggest that urinary FC may be a reliable diagnostic tool in clinical renal transplantation.
Key wordsRenal transplantation Urinary sediment Flow cytometry Lymphocytes
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