Prediction of renal function in living kidney donors and recipients of living donor kidneys using quantitative histology

Niels Henrik Buus, Cecilie Mølgaard Nielsen, Karin Skov, Lotte Ibsen, Søren Rasmus Palmelund Krag, Jens Randel Nyengaard

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background. Living kidney donors (LKDs) are at increased risk of chronic kidney disease, whereas transplant recipients experience progressive reduction of graft function. We examined the predictive value of quantitative stereology on renal function in LKDs and recipients of living donor kidneys, based on perioperative biopsies from the donated kidney. Methods. Cortex volume of both donor kidneys was determined by contrast-enhanced computed tomography and single-kidney glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by 51chrome-EDTA clearance together with renography. Glomerular density was used to estimate total glomeruli number in addition to glomerular volume, glomerular sclerosis, kidney fibrosis, and arteriole dimensions. GFR measurements were repeated 1 y after transplantation in both LKDs and recipients. Associations between GFR at follow-up and cortex volume and histomorphometric parameters after adjustment of age, gender, body mass index, smoking status, 24-h blood pressure, and single-kidney GFR were examined. Results. We included 49 LKDs (age, 51 ± 12 y) and 51 recipients (age, 44 ± 13 y). At follow-up, GFR was 71 ± 16 mL/min in LKDs and 61 ± 18 mL/min in recipients with hyperfiltration being more prominent in LKDs (30.4%) as compared to recipients (16.4%; P < 0.05). One-year GFR in donors correlated to cortex volume (P < 0.001) but not to any histological parameters, whereas GFR in recipients correlated to the amount of interstitial fibrosis (P < 0.01) but not to other histological parameters or cortex volume. Conclusions. Kidney cortex volume, but not renal histology parameters, predicts 1-y renal outcome in LKDs. In contrast, the amount of interstitial fibrosis, but not cortex volume, predicts 1-y graft function in recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-273
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Adult
  • Fibrosis
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Kidney/physiology
  • Living Donors
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic


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