The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection amongst patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease exceeds that of the general population. In addition to predisposing to the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, infection with HCV has been associated with extra-hepatic complications including CKD, proteinuria, glomerulonephritis, cryoglobulinemia, increased cardiovascular risk, insulin resistance, and lymphoma. With these associated morbidities, infection with HCV is not unexpectedly accompanied by an increase in mortality in the general population as well as in patients with kidney disease. Advances in the understanding of the HCV genome have resulted in the development of direct-acting antiviral agents that can achieve much higher sustained virologic response rates than previous interferon-based protocols. The direct acting antivirals have either primarily hepatic or renal metabolism and excretion pathways. This information is particularly relevant when considering treatment in patients with reduced kidney function. In this context, some of these agents are not recommended for use in patients with a glomerular filtration rate < 30 mL/min per 1.73 m2. There are now Food and Drug Administration approved direct acting antiviral agents for the treatment of patients with kidney disease and reduced function. These agents have been demonstrated to be effective with sustained viral response rates comparable to the general population with good safety profiles. A disease that was only recently considered to be very challenging to treat in patients with kidney dysfunction is now curable with these medications.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Direct acting antiviral agents; Hepatitis C virus; Kidney transplantation.