Introduction: Transplant clinicians may disagree on whether or not to accept a deceased donor kidney offer. We investigated the interobserver variability between transplant nephrologists regarding organ acceptance and whether the use of a prediction model impacted their decisions.
Methods: We developed an observational online survey with 6 real-life cases of deceased donor kidneys offered to a waitlisted recipient. Per case, nephrologists were asked to estimate the risk of adverse outcome and whether they would accept the offer for this patient, or for a patient of their own choice, and how certain they felt. These questions were repeated after revealing the risk of adverse outcome, calculated by a validated prediction model.
Results: Sixty Dutch nephrologists completed the survey. The intraclass correlation coefficient of their estimated risk of adverse outcome was poor (0.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.08–0.62). Interobserver agreement of the decision on whether or not to accept the kidney offer was also poor (Fleiss kappa 0.13, 95% CI 0.129–0.130). The acceptance rate before and after providing the outcome of the prediction model was significantly influenced in 2 of 6 cases. Acceptance rates varied considerably among transplant centers.
Conclusion: In this study, the estimated risk of adverse outcome and subsequent decision to accept a suboptimal donor kidney varied greatly among transplant nephrologists. The use of a prediction model could influence this decision and may enhance nephrologists’ certainty about their decision.