Trends in utilization of deceased donor kidneys based on hepatitis C virus status and impact of public health service labeling on discard

Venkatesh K. Ariyamuthu, Burhaneddin Sandikci, Nashila AbdulRahim, Christine Hwang, Malcolm P. MacConmara, Ravi Parasuraman, Ahsen Atis, Bekir Tanriover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Kidneys from deceased donors infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are underutilized. Most HCV virus-infected donors are designated as Public Health Service increased donors (PHS-IR). Impact of PHS and HCV designations on discard is not well studied. Methods: We queried the UNOS data set for all deceased donor kidneys between January 2015 and December 2018. The final study cohort donors (n = 38 702) were stratified into three groups based on HCV antibody (Ab) and NAT status: (a) Ab−/NAT− (n = 35 861); (b) Ab+/NAT− (n = 973); and (c) Ab±/NAT+ (n = 1868). We analyzed utilization/discard rates of these organs, the impact of PHS-IR and HCV designations on discard using multivariable two-level hierarchical logistic regression models, forecasted number of HCV viremic donors/kidneys by 2023. Results: During the study period, (a) the number of viremic donor kidneys increased 2 folds; (b) the multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models showed that, overall, the PHS labeling (OR 1.20, CI 95% CI 1.15-1.29) and HCV designation (OR 2.29; 95% CI 2.15-2.43) were independently associated with increased risk of discard; (c) contrary to the general perception, PHS-IR kidneys across all HCV groups, compared to PHS-IR kidneys were more likely to be discarded; (d) we forecasted that the number of kidneys from HCV viremic donor kidneys might increase from 1376 in 2019 to 2092 in 2023. Conclusion: Hepatitis C virus viremic kidneys might represent 10%-15% of deceased donor organ pool soon with the current rate of the opioid epidemic. PHS labeling effect on discard requires further discussion of the utility of this classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13204
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • discard
  • hepatitis C virus
  • nucleic acid testing
  • public health service - increased risk
  • utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Transplantation


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