Can zero-hour cortical biopsy predict early graft outcomes after living donor renal transplantation?

Ranjeet Singh Rathore, Nisarg Mehta, Sony Bhaskar Mehta, Manas Babu, Devesh Bansal, Biju S. Pillai, Mohan P. Sam, Hariharan Krishnamoorthy


Introduction: The aim of this study was to identify relevance of subclinical pathological findings in the kidneys of living donors and correlate these with early graft renal function.

Methods: This was a prospective study on 84 living donor kidney transplant recipients over a period of two years. In all the donors, cortical wedge biopsy was taken and sent for assessment of glomerular, mesangial, and tubule status. The graft function of patients with normal histology was compared with those of abnormal histological findings at one, three, and six months, and one year post-surgery.

Results: Most abnormal histological findings were of mild degree. Glomerulosclerosis (GS, 25%), interstitial fibrosis (IF, 13%), acute tubular necrosis (ATN 5%), and focal tubal atrophy (FTA, 5%) were the commonly observed pathological findings in zero-hour biopsies. Only those donors who had histological changes of IF and ATN showed progressive deterioration of renal function at one month, three months, six months, and one year post-transplantation. In donors with other histological changes, no significant effect on graft function was observed.

Conclusions: Zero-hour cortical biopsy gave us an idea of the general status of the donor kidney and presence or absence of subclinical pathological lesions. A mild degree of subclinical and pathological findings on zero-hour biopsy did not affect early graft renal function in living donor kidney transplantation. Zero-hour cortical biopsy could also help in discriminating donor-derived lesions from de novo alterations in the kidney that could happen subsequently.

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