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.