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 22 November 2017

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News

Probability of viremia among tissue donors in the United States

The estimated probability of undetected viremia at the time of tissue donation is higher among tissue donors than among first-time blood donors, find researchers in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

News image

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Tissue-banking organizations have introduced various review and testing procedures to reduce the risk of the transmission of viral infections from tissue grafts.

In this study, researchers from the United States estimated the current probability of undetected viremia in tissue donors. They examined hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV).

The team evaluated 11,391 donors at 5 tissue banks in the United States.

They determined the rates of prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies against HIV (anti-HIV), HCV (anti-HCV), and HTLV (anti-HTLV).

The researchers then compared the data with those of first-time blood donors to generate estimated incidence rates among tissue donors.

They calculated the probability of viremia undetected by screening at the time of tissue donation on the basis of the incidence estimates and the window periods for these infections.

The researchers found that the prevalence of confirmed positive tests among tissue donors was 0.093% for anti-HIV, 0.229% for HBsAg, 1.091% for anti-HCV, and 0.068% for anti-HTLV.

They estimated the incidence rates to be 30.118, 18.325, 12.380, and 5.586 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.

Furthermore, the estimated probability of viremia at the time of donation was 1 in 55,000, 1 in 34,000, 1 in 42,000, and 1 in 128,000, respectively.

Dr Shimian Zou and colleagues concluded, "The prevalence rates of HBV, HCV, HIV, and HTLV infections are lower among tissue donors than in the general population".

"However, the estimated probability of undetected viremia at the time of tissue donation is higher among tissue donors than among first-time blood donors."

"The addition of nucleic acid–amplification testing to the screening of tissue donors should reduce the risk of these infections among recipients of donated tissues."

N Engl J Med 2004; 351(8): 751-9
20 August 2004

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