Nonheart-beating donor (NHBD) kidneys are frequently associated with delayed graft function (DGF), with a deleterious effect on kidney function and allograft survival. The influence and the duration of DGF on the outcome of NHBD kidneys are assessed. All recipients of an NHBD kidney in the period 1993-2003 were reviewed. Excluded from analysis were patients with primary nonfunction (PNF). One hundred and five patients with a functioning NHBD graft were reviewed: 23 (22%) had immediate function (group 1), 40 (38%) had DGF < or = 2 weeks (group 2), 31 (30%) had DGF 15 days to 4 weeks (group 3) and 11 (10%) had DGF for > 4 weeks (group 4). Creatinine clearance at 3 months was higher in groups 1 and 2 versus group 4 (p = 0.015 and p = 0.006, respectively) and was higher in group 2 versus group 4, at 1 year (p = 0.01). Graft survival was 95%, 98%, 97% and 89%, respectively, at 1 year and 95%, 85%, 77% and 89%, respectively, at 5 years, which was not significantly different. The duration of DGF in NHB kidneys has a negative effect on creatinine clearance, but no effect on graft survival.