Introduction Impaired renal function and/or pre-existing atherosclerosis in the deceased donor increase the risk of delayed graft function and impaired long-term renal function in kidney transplant recipients. Case presentation We report delayed graft function occurring simultaneously in two kidney transplant recipients, aged 57-years-old and 39-years-old, who received renal allografts from the same deceased donor. The 62-year-old donor died of cardiac arrest during an asthmatic state. Renal-allograft biopsies performed in both kidney recipients because of delayed graft function revealed cholesterol-crystal embolism. An empiric statin therapy in addition to low-dose acetylsalicylic acid was initiated. After 10 and 6 hemodialysis sessions every 48 hours, respectively, both renal allografts started to function. Glomerular filtration rates at discharge were 26 ml/min/1.73 m2 and 23.9 ml/min/1.73 m2, and remained stable in follow-up examinations. Possible donor and surgical procedure-dependent causes for cholesterol-crystal embolism are discussed. Conclusion Cholesterol-crystal embolism should be considered as a cause for delayed graft function and long-term impaired renal allograft function, especially in the older donor population.