Non-heart beating donor kidneys with delayed graft function have superior graft survival compared with conventional heart-beating donor kidneys that develop delayed graft function

Am J Transplant. 2003 May;3(5):614-8. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-6143.2003.00113.x.


Delayed graft function may have an association with reduced graft survival, and nonheart-beating donor (NHBD) kidneys have higher rates of delayed graft function (DGF) than heart-beating donor (HBD) kidneys. This study compared outcome of renal transplants from HBDs who developed DGF, with NHBDs who developed DGF. All recipients of HBD and NHBD kidneys who developed DGF were identified during a 10-year period. All patients with graft primary nonfunction were excluded from analysis. Four hundred and fifty-six functioning transplants were performed. Delayed graft function occurred in 69 (17%) HBD and 55 (93%) NHBD kidneys. The grafts developing DGF were well matched for donor and recipient age. The rate of acute rejection was similar; [n = 16/69 (23%) HBD vs. n = 13/55 (24%) NHBD]. Cold ischaemia was 21 h in the HBD group and 17 h in NHBD group (p > 0.05). Serum creatinine was similar for both groups at 1.3 and 6 years (p > 0.05 for all time points). Graft survival in the NHBD recipients with DGF was significantly better at 3 years (84%) compared with recipients of a HBD renal transplant that developed DGF (73%) (p < 0.05), and at 6 years (62% survival for HBDs and 84% survival for NHBDs). This study shows that graft survival was better for NHBD kidneys up to 6 years after transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Death
  • Cadaver
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Creatinine