Background Kidney transplantation from hepatitis C seropositive (HCV+) donors may benefit hepatitis C RNA-positive (RNA+) candidates, but it is unclear how the willingness to be listed for and accept such kidneys affects waitlist and transplant outcomes. Methods In a single-center retrospective analysis, HCV+ transplant candidates (N = 169) listed from March 2004 to February 2015 were evaluated. All RNA+ candidates were offered the option to be listed for HCV+ donors. RNA- candidates were listed only for HCV- donors. Results Fifty-seven patients (51% of all RNA+ transplant candidates) willing to accept HCV+ donors were listed for both HCV+ and HCV- donor kidneys. During 6-year follow up, 43 (75%) of 57 patients accepting HCV+ versus 19 (35%) of 55 patients not accepting HCV+ received a deceased donor kidney transplant (P < 0.0001). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that willingness to be listed for and accept HCV+ kidneys was associated with receiving deceased donor kidney transplant (P = 0.0016). Fewer patients accepting HCV+ donors (7 [12%] vs 16 [29%]) were removed from the list due to death or deteriorated medical condition (P = 0.0117). Posttransplant patient and graft survival rates were not significantly different. Overall patient survival since the listing (combined waitlist and posttransplant survival) was similar among the groups. Conclusions HCV RNA+ candidates had better access to transplantation and similar overall survival before the era of widespread use of direct-acting anti-HCV agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas