Background: Although the degree of glomerulosclerosis on pretransplant donor biopsy is one criterion used in the decision to accept a deceased donor kidney, its relationship with graft survival remains controversial. This study compared graft survival with the degree of glomerulosclerosis found on donor biopsy. We also examined the agreement in degree of glomerulosclerosis between paired kidneys.
Methods: Biopsy results from 12,129 adult deceased donor transplants between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2005 were identified in the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing data, as of September 11, 2006. Of these, 2696 donors had both kidneys biopsied and subsequently transplanted.
Results: Among the groups with greater than 5% glomerulosclerosis, there was no statistically significant difference in graft survival rates (log-rank, P=0.44). The overall graft survival rates of the 0-5% group were significantly superior to those of the >5% groups (1-, 3-, and 5-year rates: 85.9%, 72.4%, and 59.0% for 0-5% group vs. 81.6%, 68.1%, and 53.6% for >5% group, log-rank P<0.001). Agreement between paired kidneys from the same donor was highest for the 0-5% glomerulosclerosis groups (90.6% for pairs with 0-5% glomerulosclerosis in the left kidney vs. 42.5% for pairs with >5% glomerulosclerosis in the left kidney).
Conclusion: Donor kidneys with less than 6% glomerulosclerosis were associated with better graft outcomes and intrapair agreement in the degree of glomerulosclerosis. Among kidneys with greater than 5% glomerulosclerosis, the degree of glomerulosclerosis did not help predict graft outcomes. Sampling error may contribute to the lack of outcome differences seen among these kidneys, given the low intrapair agreement.