Liver allografts from hepatitis C positive donors can offer good outcomes in hepatitis C positive recipients: a US National Transplant Registry analysis

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SummaryOrgan donors are screened for the hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) and those with positive tests can be used under extended criteria donation. However, there is still a question of long-term organ viability. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term outcomes of anti-HCV positive (HCV+) liver grafts. The US Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Scientific Registry was reviewed for the period from April 1994 to February 6, 2008 and 56 275 liver transplantations were analyzed. In total, there were 19 496 HCV+ recipients and 934 HCV+ donors. Patient and graft survival were assessed accounting for both donor and recipient anti-HCV status. Multivariable proportional hazards survival models were developed to adjust for factors known to affect post-transplant survival. With anti-HCV negative (HCV−) recipient/HCV− donor as the reference, the adjusted hazard ratio for death was similar for HCV+ recipient/HCV− donor compared with HCV+ recipient/HCV+ donor (1.176 vs. 1.165, P = 0.91). Our results suggest that HCV+ liver donors do not subject the HCV+ recipient to an increased risk for death over the HCV− donor, keeping in mind that careful donor and recipient selection is critical for the proper use of these extended criteria donors.

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