: The number of patients awaiting a kidney transplant is constantly rising but lack of organs leads kidneys from extended criteria donors (ECD) to be used to increase the donor pool. Pre-transplant biopsies are routinely evaluated through the Karpinski-Remuzzi score but consensus on its correlation with graft survival is controversial. This study aims to test a new diagnostic model relying on digital pathology to evaluate pre-transplant biopsies and to correlate it with graft outcomes. Pre-transplant biopsies from 78 ECD utilized as single kidney transplantation were scanned, converted to whole-slide images (WSIs), and reassessed by two expert nephropathologists using the Remuzzi-Karpinski score. The correlation between graft survival at 36 months median follow-up and parameters assigned by either WSI or glass slide score (GSL) by on-call pathologists was evaluated, as well as the agreement between the GSL and the WSIs score. No relation was found between the GSL assessed by on-call pathologists and graft survival (P = 0.413). Conversely, the WSI score assigned by the two nephropathologists strongly correlated with graft loss probability, as confirmed by the ROC curves analysis (DeLong test P = 0.046). Digital pathology allows to share expertise in the transplant urgent setting, ensuring higher accuracy and favoring standardization of the process. Its employment may significantly increase the predictive capability of the pre-transplant biopsy evaluation for ECD, improving the quality of allocation and patient safety.
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