Introduction: In recent years less strict criteria for renal graft donors have been applied. Our study was designed to investigate whether the histological picture, with special reference to vascular changes of the donor kidney, has an effect on the development and level of graft function, and on 48-month graft survival.
Methods: Three morphologically distinct groups were formed from 150 consecutive cadaveric kidneys donors transplanted into 290 recipients. A control group (C) consisted of kidneys with a completely normal histological picture. Group M1 included kidneys with mild arteriolosclerosis and group M2 (n=122) was comprised of kidneys showing significant arteriolosclerosis. The onset of graft function was assessed by the need for dialysis treatment post-transplantation and the levels of serum creatinine and creatinine clearance at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months post transplant.
Results: The proportion of sclerotic glomeruli (P<0.001) and the incidence and severity of interstitial fibrosis was greater in groups M1 and M2 than in the control group (M1, P<0.01; M2, P<0.001). The incidence of vascular fibrinoid necrosis in M2 was greater than in controls (P<0.001). The onset of graft function did not differ significantly between the groups. Group M2 showed a significantly lower level of graft function (P<0.001). The 4-year graft survival rate of group M2 was 74.2%, significantly lower than in the combined group C+M1 (P=0.03).
Conclusion: Significant vascular lesions in the donor kidney should be taken into account when predicting graft function and survival.