The Role of Early Sequential Biopsies in Delayed Renal Graft Function of Transplanted Kidney Is Reduced in Modern Immunosuppression Era

Ohad Guetta, Anton Osyntsov, Ruth Rahamimov, Ana Tobar, Moshe Israeli, Yasmin Masarwa, Michael Gurevich, Vladimir Tennak, Vadym Mezhybovsky, Aviad Gravetz, Sigal Eisner, Eviatar Nesher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Delayed graft function (DGF) immediately after kidney transplantation is considered a risk factor for acute rejection. According to clinical guidelines, a weekly allograft biopsy should be performed until DGF resolves. Based on clinical evidence, the first biopsy is considered appropriate. However, the recommendation for further biopsies is based on sparse evidence from era of earlier immunosuppression protocols, and the benefit of the second and further biopsies remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to reevaluate this policy. Methods: The database of a transplant medical center was retrospectively reviewed for all patients who underwent kidney transplantation in 2011-2020. Those with DGF who performed two or more graft biopsies within the first 60 days after transplantation were identified. Clinical data were collected from the medical files. The rates of diagnosis of acute rejection at the second and subsequent biopsies were analyzed relative to the previous ones. Results: Kidney transplantation was performed in 1,722 patients during the study period, of whom 225 (13.07%) underwent a total of 351 graft biopsies within 60 days after transplantation, mostly due to DGF. A second biopsy was performed in 32 patients (14.2%), and a third biopsy in 8, at weekly intervals. In 2 patients (6.25%), the diagnosis changed from the first biopsy (acute tubular necrosis or toxic damage) to acute rejection in the second biopsy. In both, the rejection was borderline. Third and fourth biopsies did not add information to the previous diagnosis. Conclusions: The common practice of performing sequential biopsies during a postoperative course of DGF seems to be of low benefit and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
Issue number3-4
Early online date29 Jul 2022
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Acute rejection
  • Allograft biopsy
  • Delayed graft function
  • Kidney transplantation


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