The effect of matching for HLA-DR antigens was analyzed retrospectively in 3455 cadaver kidney transplants that were typed by the DNA-RFLP method. HLA-DR matching improved the one-year graft survival rate significantly (P < 0.01). Importantly, in 718 first transplants in which the number of mismatches assigned by serological typing was different from that assigned by DNA typing, only the DNA results showed a significant impact of matching on graft outcome (P = 0.03). These results demonstrate that DNA typing is clinically relevant. We were unable to confirm that the HLA-DR6 specificity or the DR6-split DRB1*1302 are associated with poor graft survival.