There is a need for simple, quantitative and prospective assays for islet quality assessment that are predictive of islet transplantation outcome. The current state-of-the-art athymic nude mouse bioassay is costly, technically challenging and retrospective. In this study, we report on the ability of 2 parameters characterizing human islet quality: (1) oxygen consumption rate (OCR), a measure of viable volume; and (2) OCR/DNA, a measure of fractional viability, to predict diabetes reversal in nude mice. Results demonstrate that the probability for diabetes reversal increases as the graft's OCR/DNA and total OCR increase. For a given transplanted OCR dose, diabetes reversal is strongly dependent on OCR/DNA. The OCR and OCR/DNA (the ‘OCR test’) data exhibit 89% sensitivity and 77% specificity in predicting diabetes reversal in nude mice (n = 86). We conclude that the prospective OCR test can effectively replace the retrospective athymic nude mouse bioassay in assessing human islet quality prior to islet transplantation.