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Assessment of donor kidney quality is based on clinical scores or requires biopsies for histological assessment. Noninvasive strategies to identify and predict graft outcome at an early stage are, therefore, needed. We evaluated the perfusate of donation after brain death (DBD) kidneys during nonoxygenated hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP). In particular, we compared perfusate protein profiles of good outcome (GO) and suboptimal outcome (SO) 1-year post-transplantation. Samples taken 15 min after the start HMP (T1) and before the termination of HMP (T2) were analysed using quantitative liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Hierarchical clustering of the 100 most abundant proteins showed discrimination between grafts with a GO and SO at T1. Elevated levels of proteins involved in classical complement cascades at both T1 and T2 and a reduced abundance of lipid metabolism at T1 and of cytoskeletal proteins at T2 in GO versus SO was observed. ATP-citrate synthase and fatty acid-binding protein 5 (T1) and immunoglobulin heavy variable 2-26 and desmoplakin (T2) showed 91% and 86% predictive values, respectively, for transplant outcome. Taken together, DBD kidney HMP perfusate profiles can distinguish between outcome 1-year post-transplantation. Furthermore, it provides insights into mechanisms that could play a role in post-transplant outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Transpl Int

Publication Date





1618 - 1629


biomarker discovery, complement activation, donation after brain death, hypothermic machine perfusion, kidney preservation, proteomics, Brain Death, Chromatography, Liquid, Cytoskeleton, Humans, Kidney, Kidney Transplantation, Lipid Metabolism, Organ Preservation, Perfusion, Proteomics, Tandem Mass Spectrometry