- 1Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Purpose of review: There has been an ongoing disparity between the number of organs available for solid organ transplantation (SOT) relative to the need. This has resulted in significant waitlist mortality, may affect transplant outcomes due to transplants being performed on sicker patients and may even increase healthcare costs due to extended hospital stays. Transplanting organs from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected donors into uninfected recipients (D+/R-) is now a reality, due to the advent of highly affective direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) which not only have very high efficacy, but also a favorable side effect and drug-drug interaction profile.
Recent findings: Data from multiple centers reporting outcomes of kidney, liver, heart, lung and liver-kidney transplant during the past few years reveal that SOT from HCV-infected donors into noninfected recipients is safe, efficacious and can result in excellent recipient outcomes, with an opportunity to decrease the time on the waitlist, waitlist mortality and to improve outcomes after transplant due to less morbidity at the time of surgery. When livers are the transplanted organ, 8-12 weeks of DAA treatment will be required. For other organs, 2-4 weeks is likely sufficient. The available DAAs have profiles such that patients with all genotypes, with or without renal insufficiency an on renal replacement therapy and those who fail treatment may be successfully treated, with a sustained virologic response rate of more than 95%. Based upon the available data, starting DAAs shortly after transplant will likely limit posttransplant complications. that This will require cooperation between the transplant team, transplant hospital and insurer providing medication coverage.
Summary: SOT from HCV infected recipients is safe, is associated with excellent outcomes and should be considered for recipients who would benefit from receiving an organ earlier than they would if they waited for an organ from an uninfected donor.