Hepatitis C-infected organs safe for transplant: new researc
Direct-acting antiviral medications can make the transplantation of organs infected with hepatitis C safe for recipients who do not have the virus, new research shows.

To see if infected organs could be transplanted successfully, researchers recruited 75 hepatitis-negative candidates for transplantation who agreed to receive an organ from a donor infected with hepatitis C. Acceptance of a viremic organ shortened the wait time for these patients.

9% were men, 72% underwent kidney transplantation, 15% underwent liver transplantation, and 13% underwent heart transplantation.

Most of the recipients became infected with the virus as a result of the transplant. Treatment regimens — 33 patients received glecaprevir and pibrentasvir, 19 received sofosbuvir and ledipasvir, and two received sofosbuvir and velpatasvir — and duration of treatment were determined on the basis of genotype and renal function. No patient received ribavirin.

All therapy was covered by insurance, with the exception of one patient who was approved for only 2 months, but an additional month was provided by the drug manufacturer.

The virus is not detectable in any of the 27 recipients who have completed 12 weeks of treatment.

Of these 27 patients, three received livers and were infected with genotype 1a hepatitis C. Three received hearts and were infected with genotype 1a. And of the 21 who received kidneys, 12 were infected with genotype 1a, one with genotypes 2 and 3, one with genotype 4, two with genotype 2, and five with genotype 3. Of the 45 patients who have completed 4 weeks of treatment, the virus is undetectable in 35.

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