Impact of Consensus Definitions on Identification of Glomerular Lesions by Light and Electron Microscopy

Mark Haas, James Mirocha, Kerstin Amann, Ingeborg M. Bajema, Laura Barisoni, Jan Ulrich Becker, J. Charles Jennette, Kenuske Joh, Danica Galesic Ljubanovic, Ian S.D. Roberts, Joris J. Roelofs, Sanjeev Sethi, Raul Suarez, Caihong Zeng, Surya V. Seshan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In 2020, a working group of 13 renal pathologists published consensus definitions for 47 individual glomerular lesions found on light microscopy (LM) and 47 glomerular lesions and 9 normal structures found on electron microscopy (EM). Methods: To test the impact of these definitions on identification of these lesions and structures, 2 surveys were circulated to all members of the Renal Pathology Society (RPS), each having 32 images (19 LM, 13 EM) and accompanying questions with 5 multiple-choice answers, one being the consensus choice of the working group. The first survey (survey 1 [S1]), answered by 297 RPS members, was sent in September 2020, before publication of the consensus definitions. The second (survey 2 [S2]), with images of the same lesions and structures (but not the same images) and the same questions and multiple choices in different order, was sent in April 2020, 5 months after the publication of the definitions. Results: S2 was taken by 181 RPS members; 64% also took S1 and 61% reported having read the definitions paper (def. paper). Mean agreement with the consensus answers increased modestly between the 2 surveys (65.2% vs. 72.0%, P = 0.097); the increase was greater and significant when only respondents to S2 who read the def. paper were considered (65.2% vs. 74.8%, P = 0.026). Furthermore, in S2 agreement with consensus answers was greater among respondents who read this paper versus those who did not (66.9% vs. 74.8%, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Publication of the consensus definitions modestly improved interobserver agreement in identification of glomerular lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • electron microscopy
  • glomerulonephritis
  • glomerulus
  • kidney biopsy
  • renal pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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