The Association Between Macroscopic Arteriosclerosis of the Renal Artery, Microscopic Arteriosclerosis, Organ Discard, and Kidney Transplant Outcome

Anke Keijbeck, Rob Veenstra, Robert A. Pol, Cynthia Konijn, Nichon Jansen, Harry van Goor, Andries J. Hoitsma, Carine J. Peutz-Kootstra, Cyril Moers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



During organ retrieval, surgeons estimate the degree of arteriosclerosis and this plays an important role in decisions on organ acceptance. Our study aimed to elucidate the association between macroscopic renal artery arteriosclerosis, donor kidney discard, and transplant outcome.


We selected all transplanted and discarded kidneys in the Netherlands between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2015, from deceased donors aged 50 y and older, for which data on renal artery arteriosclerosis were available (n = 2610). The association between arteriosclerosis and kidney discard, the relation between arteriosclerosis and outcome, and the correlation between macroscopic and microscopic arteriosclerosis were explored.


Macroscopic arteriosclerosis was independently associated with kidney discard (odds ratio [OR], 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.80; P = 0.03). Arteriosclerosis (any degree) was not significantly associated with delayed graft function (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.94-1.43; P = 0.16), estimated glomerular filtration rate 1-y posttransplant (B, 0.58; 95% CI, -2.07 to 3.22; P = 0.67), and long-term graft survival (hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.86-1.33; P = 0.55). There was a significant association between mild arteriosclerosis and primary nonfunction (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.19-3.84; P = 0.01). We found no correlation between macroscopic and histological arteriosclerosis, nor between histological arteriosclerosis and transplant outcome.


Macroscopic arteriosclerosis of the renal artery was independently associated with kidney discard and somewhat associated with primary nonfunction posttransplant. However, there was no effect of arteriosclerosis on delayed graft function, estimated glomerular filtration rate at 1 y, or long-term graft survival. Our results are valid only after inevitable exclusion of discarded kidneys that had on average more arteriosclerosis. Hence, conclusions should be interpreted in the light of this potential bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2567-2574
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020



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