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BACKGROUND: Whilst Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are used for the development of local protocols in kidney transplantation (Ktx), the quality of their methodology is variable. This systematic review aimed to critically appraise international CPGs in all aspects of Ktx using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II tool. METHODS: CPGs in Ktx and donation published between 2010 and 2017 were identified from MEDLINE, Embase, National Guideline Clearinghouse, NHS and NICE Evidence Searches, and the websites of transplant societies. Using AGREE II, 3 appraisers assessed the quality of CPGs. Interrater reliability was measured using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). RESULTS: Searches identified 3,168 records and 115 CPGs were included. The highest scoring AGREE II domain was 'Scope and Purpose' (80%; Range 30-100%), followed by 'Clarity of Presentation' (77%; Range 43-98%), 'Editorial independence' (52%; Range 0-94%), 'Rigour of Development' (47%; Range 6-97%) and 'Stakeholder Involvement' (41%; Range 11-85%). The poorest scoring domain was 'Applicability' (31%; Range 3-74%). Most CPGs were recommended for future use either with (63%) or without modifications (18%). A small number were not recommended for future use (14%) or reviewers did not agree on recommending the CPG (5%). The overall mean CPG quality score was 4 out of 7 (Range 2-7). The mean ICC of 0.74 indicated substantial agreement between reviewers. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of international CPGs in Ktx was variable, and most CPGs lacked key aspects of methodological robustness and transparency. Improvements in methodology, patient involvement and strategies for implementation are required.

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