Kidney Transplantation in an Elderly Veteran Population With Hepatitis C Virus Nucleic Acid Test-Positive Donors Results in Improved Outcomes After Prophylactic Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir Therapy

Transplant Proc. 2023 Mar;55(2):317-324. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2022.12.015. Epub 2023 Feb 17.


Background: The average age of waitlisted veterans is 64. Recent data has shown the safety and benefits of using kidneys from hepatitis C virus nucleic acid test (HCV NAT)-positive donors. However, these studies were limited to younger patients with initiation of therapy after transplant. The aim of this study was to determine the safety and efficacy of a preemptive treatment protocol in an elderly veteran population.

Methods: This was a prospective, open-label trial with 21 deceased donor kidney transplantations (DDKTs) with HCV NAT-positive kidneys and 32 DDKTs with HCV NAT-negative transplanted between November 2020 and March 2022. The HCV NAT-positive recipients were treated with once-daily glecaprevir/pibrentasvir started preoperatively and continued for 8 weeks. Sustained virologic response (SVR)12 was determined by negative NAT Student's t test. Other endpoints included patient and graft survival as well as graft function.

Results: There was no major difference between the cohorts other than the increased number of donation after circulatory death kidneys in the non-HCV recipients. Post-transplant graft and patient outcomes were equivalent between the groups. Eight of the 21 HCV NAT-positive recipients had detectable HCV viral loads 1 day after transplant, but all were undetectable by day 7 with 100% SVR12. Calculated estimated glomerular filtration rate was improved in the HCV NAT-positive cohort at week 8 (58.26 vs 47.16 mL/min; P < .05) and continued to be improved over non-HCV recipients 1 year after transplant (71.38 vs 42.15 mL/min; P < .05). Immunologic risk stratification was similar in both cohorts.

Conclusion: The HCV NAT-positive transplants with a preemptive treatment protocol results in improved graft function with minimal to no complications in an elderly veteran population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepatitis C* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C* / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors
  • Veterans*


  • glecaprevir
  • pibrentasvir
  • Antiviral Agents