Survey of Clinician Opinions on Kidney Transplantation from Hepatitis C Virus Positive Donors: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers

Krista L. Lentine, John D. Peipert, Tarek Alhamad, Yasar Caliskan, Beatrice P. Concepcion, Rachel Forbes, Mark Schnitzler, Su Hsin Chang, Matthew Cooper, Roy D. Bloom, Roslyn B. Mannon, David A. Axelrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background Transplant practices related to use of organs from hepatitis C virus-infected donors (DHCV+) is evolving rapidly. Methods We surveyed US kidney transplant programs by email and professional society LISTSERV postings between July 2019 and January 2020 to assess attitudes, management strategies, and barriers related to use of viremic (nucleic acid testing positive [NAT+]) donor organs in recipients who are not infected with HCV. Results Staff at 112 unique programs responded, representing 54% of US adult kidney transplant programs and 69% of adult deceased donor kidney transplant volume in 2019. Most survey respondents were transplant nephrologists (46%) or surgeons (43%). Among the responding programs, 67% currently transplant DHCV antibody+/NAT- organs under a clinical protocol or as standard of care. By comparison, only 58% offer DHCV NAT+ kidney transplant to recipients who are HCV-, including 35% under clinical protocols, 14% as standard of care, and 9% under research protocols. After transplant of DHCV NAT+ organs to recipients who are uninfected, 53% start direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapy after discharge and documented viremia. Viral monitoring protocols after DHCV NAT+ to HCV uninfected recipient kidney transplantation varied substantially. 56% of programs performing these transplants report having an institutional plan to provide DAA treatment if declined by the recipient's insurance. Respondents felt a mean decrease in waiting time of ≥18 months (range, 0-60) justifies the practice. Program concerns related to use of DHCV NAT+ kidneys include insurance coverage concerns (72%), cost (60%), and perceived risk of transmitting resistant infection (44%). Conclusions Addressing knowledge about safety and logistic/financial barriers related to use of DHCV NAT+ kidney transplantation for recipients who are not infected with HCV may help reduce discards and expand the organ supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1299
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • direct acting antiviral therapy
  • donation
  • hepatitis C virus
  • infection
  • kidney transplantation
  • practices
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • tissue donors
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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