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Hep C-Viremic Kidneys Increasingly Used for Transplant

One-year eGFR similar for HCV-seronegative recipients receiving HCV-viremic, non-HCV-viremic kidneys

kidney illustration

THURSDAY, Sept. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-viremic kidneys are increasingly being used for transplants and seem to have good one-year outcomes, according to a study published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Vishnu S. Potluri, M.D., M.P.H., from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined trends in HCV-viremic kidney use between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2019. Advanced matching methods were used to compare estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) for similar kidneys transplanted into highly similar kidney recipients.

The researchers found that HCV-seronegative recipients received an increasing proportion of HCV-viremic kidneys over time. Two hundred HCV-viremic kidneys were transplanted into HCV-seronegative recipients during the study period compared with 69 into HCV-seropositive recipients; 105 HCV-viremic kidneys were discarded, with a decrease in the probability of discard over time. During the study period, there was an increase in candidates willing to accept a HCV-seropositive kidney (2,936 to 16,809). When transplanted into HCV-seronegative recipients, predictors of organ quality matched for HCV-viremic kidneys and HCV-non-viremic kidneys, with similar one-year eGFR (66.3 versus 67.1 mL/min/1.73 m²; P = 0.86), in spite of worse kidney donor profile index scores assigned to HCV-viremic kidneys. After transplantation of HCV-viremic kidneys, no correlation was seen for recipient HCV serostatus with a clinically meaningful difference in one-year eGFR (66.5 versus 71.1 mL/min/1.73 m²; P = 0.056).

"These findings provide strong evidence that HCV-viremic kidneys are a valuable resource for transplantation," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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