Diagnosis of BK viral nephropathy in the renal allograft biopsy: Role of fluorescence in situ hybridization

Zhen Wang, Bryce P. Portier, Bo Hu, Andres Chiesa-Vottero, Jonathan Myles, Gary W. Procop, Raymond R. Tubbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Early recognition of BK viral nephropathy is essential for successful management. Our aim in this study was to evaluate a novel fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay for detection of BK virus in renal transplant biopsies in the context of standard detection methods. Renal allograft biopsies (n = 108) were analyzed via H&E, immunohistochemistry (IHC) for simian virus 40, and FISH for BK virus. BK virus was detected in 16 (14.8%) cases by H&E, 13 (12%) cases by IHC, 18 (16.6%) cases by FISH, and 19 (17.6%) cases by real-time PCR; 24 of 108 showed a discrepancy in <1 testing modalities. Comparison of H&E, IHC, and FISH showed no statistical difference in detection of BK virus. However, performing comparisons between the different tissue-based assays in the context of plasma or urine real-time PCR results showed significant improvement in detection of BK by FISH over H&E (P = 0.02) but not IHC (P = 0.07). This novel FISH-based approach for BK virus identification in renal allograft biopsy tissue mirrored real-time PCR results and showed superior performance to detection of inclusions by H&E. Therefore, use of FISH for BK virus detection in the setting of renal allograft biopsy is a useful and sensitive detection method and could be adopted in any laboratory that currently performs FISH analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine


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