Cooperative Agreement for Transplanting Hepatitis C+ Kidneys into Hepatitis C- Recipients
September 2019 Council
Point(s) of Contact
Kevin Abbott, M.D., M.P.H.; Susan Mendley, M.D.
Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for end stage kidney disease but is limited by a severe scarcity of donor organs. Donor kidneys infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may represent a potentially underutilized source of donor kidneys. In the past, almost all HCV infected donor kidneys were given to recipients who were also HCV infected. Now that highly effective/curative (although extremely expensive) antiviral treatment is available, such kidneys could be given to HCV uninfected recipients, with the goal of reducing organ discards and expanding access to kidney transplantation and shortening wait times. However, the current literature consists of small studies that do not address the concerns of many stakeholders. NIDDK proposes a larger scale (N=200) prospective clinical study of the use and outcomes of HCV+ deceased donor kidneys in HCV uninfected recipients, treated with Direct Acting Anti-viral therapy shortly after transplant, and followed for outcomes of viral transmission and organ function/clinical outcomes, to definitively address these questions.