Procurement Biopsy Findings Versus Kidney Donor Risk Index for Predicting Renal Allograft Survival

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Abstract

Background

Efforts to maximize transplantation by matching organ quality to recipient longevity require reliable tools. The US kidney allocation system uses the Kidney Donor Risk Index (KDRI) for this purpose, and many centers additionally rely on donor biopsies. The Leuven score combines donor age with procurement histology (glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy) to predict allograft survival.

Methods

We compared KDRI with Leuven scores for associations with kidney discard, delayed graft function, and allograft function and survival. We used Cox, modified Poisson, and linear regression to calculate risks based on KDRI and (separately) Leuven scores, adjusting for important transplant and recipient variables.

Results

From 890 donors, 1729 kidneys were procured and biopsied. Five hundred eighty-five (34%) kidneys were discarded. Median donor age was 53 years (interquartile range [IQR], 44-61 years). Median KDRI and Leuven scores were 1.56 (IQR, 1.28-1.90) and 59 (IQR, 49-69). Relative risk for discard was 1.21 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17-1.24) per 0.2-unit increase in KDRI and 1.38 (1.31-1.46) per 10-unit increase in Leuven score. Adjusted relative risks for delayed graft function were 0.98 (95% CI, 0.94-1.02) and 0.94 (95% CI, 0.90-0.99), adjusted hazard ratios for graft failure were 1.10 (95% CI, 1.04-1.16) and 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02-1.21), and adjusted linear regression coefficients for 3-year estimated glomerular filtration rate were −3.88 (−4.63 to −3.13) and -5.18 (−6.19 to −4.18).

Conclusions

In kidneys clinically selected for procurement biopsy, the Leuven score was more strongly associated with discard but performed similarly to KDRI for predicting transplant outcomes, suggesting the need to reevaluate current procurement biopsy practices. Given modest associations for both tools; however, neither KDRI nor the Leuven score should be used in isolation for individual organ acceptance decisions.

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