Background: Because of the continued demand in kidney transplantation, organs from donors with risk criteria for blood-borne viruses, high Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI) kidneys, and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive kidneys are being considered. There continues to be reluctance on the part of the providers and the candidates to accept HCV-positive kidneys.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network database of all adult (≥18 y old) recipients undergoing kidney transplant from May 10, 2013, to June 30, 2021. We compared patient and graft survival in candidates who received HCV-positive kidneys versus non-hepatitis C (Hep C) high KDPI kidneys by estimated posttransplant survival (EPTS) groups.
Results: HCV-viremic kidneys were transplanted in 5.6% of patients in the EPTS >61% group compared with 5.1% of patients in the 21%-60% EPTS group and 1.9% of 0%-20% EPTS group ( P < 0.001). Of all transplants performed in the EPTS 61%-100% group, 11.9% were KDPI >85% compared with 5.2% in the EPTS 21%-60%, and 0.5% in the EPTS 0%-20%. Patient survival was significantly longer at 1, 3, and 5 y in the EPTS >61% group who received Hep C-viremic or -nonviremic allografts compared with non-Hep C kidneys with KDPI >85%. When it comes to listing, only 25% of candidates in the EPTS >61% group were listed for Hep C nucleic acid testing-positive kidneys in 2021.
Conclusions: Our findings could be used for counseling candidates on the types of kidneys they should consider for transplantation. Also, listing practices for viremic Hep C kidneys need continued re-evaluation.
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