We studied multiple determinants of graft survival at a single center and the effects of nonimmunologic graft loss on transplant survival. This retrospective study examined the results of 589 cadaver donor transplants performed between 1986 and 1992. Graft survival rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier estimates for both overall graft survival (all causes of graft loss) and immunologic graft survival (function lost due to acute or chronic rejection and noncompliance). Cadaver graft survival was significantly poorer with an increasing degree of DR mismatch (P=0.02). An analysis of pretransplant variables showed graft loss risk was highest with greater DR mismatches, two B-antigen mismatch, higher donor serum creatinine, and younger recipient age. After transplantation, acute rejection was the most significant factor associated with long-term graft survival. Our data demonstrate a significant advantage for zero DR and one DR mismatch cadaver donor transplants, with excellent immunologic graft survival. This study suggests that a combination of immediate graft function, prevention of acute rejection by appropriate early immunosuppressive therapy, and acceptable DR match enhances cadaveric graft survival.