Willingness of Kidney and Liver Transplant Candidates to Receive HCV-Infected Organs

J Surg Res. 2022 Oct:278:342-349. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.05.003. Epub 2022 Jun 3.


Introduction: Transplantation of organs exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) into uninfected patients has yielded excellent outcomes and more widespread adoption may lead to fewer discarded organs and more transplants. Patient perceptions may shed light on acceptability and likely the uptake of HCV+/HCV- transplantation, gaps in understanding, and perceived benefits/risks.

Methods: We surveyed 435 uninfected kidney and liver transplant candidates at four centers about their attitude towards HCV-infected organs.

Results: The percentage of patients willing to accept HCV-infected organs increased from 58% at baseline, to 86% following education about HCV, direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), and HCV+/HCV- transplantation benefits/risks. More willingness to accept an organ from an intravenous drug user (P < 0.001), age >50 y old (P = 0.02), longer waiting time (P = 0.02), more trust in the transplant system (P = 0.03), and previous awareness of DAAs (P = 0.04) were associated with higher willingness to accept an HCV-infected organ. The most important reasons for accepting an HCV-infected organ were a decrease in waiting time (65%), lower mortality and morbidity risk while on the waiting list (63%), effectiveness of DAAs (54%), and a quicker return to higher functional status (51%).

Conclusions: Presenting patients with information about HCV+/HCV- transplantation in small doses that are calibrated to account for varying levels of health and numerical literacy is recommended.

Keywords: Attitudes; Ethics; Hepatitis C virus; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Donor Selection
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis C* / complications
  • Hepatitis C* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous* / drug therapy
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous* / etiology
  • Tissue Donors
  • Waiting Lists


  • Antiviral Agents