Transplantation of Hepatitis-Infected Kidneys

Transplantation of Hepatitis-Infected Kidneys

As reported in, a new study has been published that suggests kidneys from donors infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are safe to transplant into recipients who are not infected with the virus.  In this small nonrandomized, open label study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, 20 HCV-negative patients received transplants that were infected with HCV.  Each received a standard course of elbasvir-grazoprevir (Zepatier, Merck), one of several HCV antivirals with outstanding cure rates.  Patients were then followed for 12 months.

All 20 recipients of HCV infected kidneys achieved HCV cure.  Other clinical measures, including quality of life and renal function post-transplant were also positive. 

Today, while there is an acute shortage of kidneys for transplant and thousands of patients on transplant waiting lists, many HCV-infected patients are turned away as potential organ donors due to their viral infection.  These results provide promising evidence that we may be able to allow organ donation from those infected with HCV.

Additional information about hepatitis C antivirals (including sofosbuvir and simeprivir) can be found in the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards.  If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to the Top 300 Pharmacy Drug Cards.  If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.


Reese PP, Abt PL, Blumberg EA, et al.  Twelve-month outcomes after transplant of hepatitis C–infected kidneys into uninfected recipients: A single-group trial.  Ann Intern Med.  Epub ahead of print, 7 August 2018.  doi:10.7326/M18-0749

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