(HealthDay News) — Kidneys from deceased donors that have acute injuries are frequently discarded, but some injured kidneys might still be suitable for transplant, according to research findings published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Chirag Parikh, M.D., director of the Program of Applied Translational Research at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues tracked kidneys from 1,632 deceased donors and, as expected, found an association between acute kidney injury and kidneys being discarded. The researchers also found a link between injured kidneys and delayed graft function (DGF).

However, some of those post-surgical issues may fade. The researchers said that patients who received injured kidneys were not at any higher risk for poor kidney function 6 months after their transplant. “What we saw was, with worsening acute kidney injury in the donor, the 6-month outcome was actually better for recipients who experienced DGF,” first author Isaac Hall, M.D., an investigator in the Program of Applied Translational Research at the Yale School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

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In fact, kidney function 6 months after transplant was worse for patients with DGF who received a kidney with no apparent injury, compared to those who got an injured kidney. One possible reason for the finding is that while still in their donors, the injured kidneys may have developed a mechanism to protect themselves from the effects of further injury, Hall suggested.


  1. Hall, IE, et al. American Journal of Transplantation; doi: 10.1111/ajt.13144.