Exploring patient willingness to accept hepatitis C-infected kidneys for transplantation

BMC Nephrol. 2020 Nov 10;21(1):473. doi: 10.1186/s12882-020-02114-y.


Background: As organs infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) provide an opportunity to expand the donor pool, the primary aim of this study is to explore patient willingness to accept a kidney from HCV-infected donors compared to other high-risk donors.

Methods: An anonymous, electronic survey was sent to all active kidney transplant waitlist patients at a single large volume transplant center. Patients were asked to respond to three hypothetical organ offers from the following: 1) HCV-infected donor 2) Donor with active intravenous drug use and 3) Donor with longstanding diabetes and hypertension.

Results: The survey was sent to 435 patients of which 125 responded (29% response rate). While 86 out of 125 patients (69%) were willing to accept an HCV-infected kidney, only a minority of respondents were willing to accept a kidney from other high-risk donors. In contrast to other studies, by multivariable logistic regression, age and race were not associated with willingness to accept an HCV-infected kidney.

Conclusions: In this exploratory study, utilization of kidneys from HCV-infected donors to expand the donor pool appears to be an acceptable option to patients.

Keywords: Deceased donor kidney transplant; Disparities; Expanded donor criteria; Hepatitis C; PHS-high risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Donor Selection*
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis C*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / virology*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waiting Lists