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.
- hepatitis C virus
- nucleic acid testing
- public health service - increased risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases