Is the Kidney Donor Risk Index a step forward in the assessment of deceased donor kidney quality?

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2015 Aug;30(8):1285-90. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfu304. Epub 2014 Oct 4.


The allocation of deceased donor kidneys has become more complex because of the increasing spectrum of donors and recipients age and comorbidities. Several scoring systems have been proposed to evaluate the donor quality of deceased donor kidneys, based on clinical, pathological or combined parameters to predict the risk of renal allograft failure. Nonetheless, besides the dichotomous extended criteria donor (ECD) score, none of the others have been used in clinical practice because of numerous reasons, ranging from lack of robust validation to the technical challenges associated with the evaluation of donor biopsies. Recently, the Kidney Donor Risk Index (KDRI) and Profile Index (KDPI) were introduced in the USA as a refined version of the ECD score. This scoring system is based on 10 donor factors, therefore providing a finely granulated evaluation of donor quality without the need of a kidney biopsy.Here, we review the advantages and drawbacks of the main scoring systems, and we describe the components of the KDRI and KDPI. It is an easily accessible online tool, based solely on donor factors readily available at the moment of the donor offer. Importantly, the KDPI has also been made part of the 'longevity matching' allocation in the USA, where the best kidneys are allocated to the recipients with the longest predicted post-transplant survival. The KDRI should provide us with a robust qualitative evaluation of deceased donor quality, and therefore will probably play a role in deceased donor kidney allocation policies across Europe in the near future. Hopefully, the KDRI and the KDPI should help transplant programmes to better allocate the scarce resource of deceased donor kidneys.

Keywords: Kidney Donor Risk Index (KDRI); deceased donors; donor biopsy; marginal donors; scoring system.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Donor Selection*
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*