Impact of the pre-transplant histological score on 3-year graft outcomes of kidneys from marginal donors: a single-centre study

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The reliability of kidney biopsy as the sole means for assessing kidneys from extended-criteria donors (ECDs) to be allocated to single or dual transplantation is still a matter of debate.


We compared retrospectively 3 years graft survival and renal function in 44 recipients of a single kidney graft from a marginal donor with good renal function and a Karpinski histological score of ≤3 and 56 recipients of a single transplant with a Karpinski score of 4 or 5. The donors’ and recipients’ characteristics were compared by means of Wilcoxon's rank-sum test and Fisher's exact test, and survival was analysed using the log-rank test and Cox regression survival analysis.


The donors with the worse histological scores were slightly younger (68.0 ± 4.74 versus 71.3 ± 4.6 years, P < 0.01) and had a higher glomerular filtration rate (85.8 ± 28.2 versus 76.3 ± 26.53 mL/min, P = 0.013), but there was no difference in serum creatinine levels (0.83 ± 0.24 versus 0.85 ± 0.30 mg/dL, P = 0.381). Three years after transplantation, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of recipient serum creatinine levels (1.94 ± 0.69 versus 1.74 ± 0.49 mg/dL, P = 0.134), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, 45.6 ± 21.1 versus 51.7 ± 22.0 mL/min, P = 0.331) or the rates of graft loss (27.3 versus 35.7%, P = 0.47), delayed graft function or acute rejection.


In our experience, provided the donor has a normal renal function, a difference in the pre-transplant histological score of kidneys from marginal cadaveric donors do not have a significant influence on the outcome 3 years after transplantation. Our findings might represent a basis for designing a randomized controlled trial of using a higher histological score threshold for the DKT allocation of grafts from ECDs with a normal renal function.

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