A team from Virginia and Washington, USA, evaluated the clinical outcome of transplanting hepatitis C-positive (HCV+) livers in hepatitis C-positive patients.
They compared their course with that of HCV+ recipients of HCV-negative (HCV-) allografts.
The United Network for Organ Sharing Scientific Registry was reviewed between 1994 and 1997.
All HCV+ transplant recipients were analyzed. Two groups were identified: a group of HCV+ recipients of HCV+ donor livers (n = 96), and a group of HCV+ recipients of HCV- donor livers (n = 2827).
A multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine the odds of graft failure and patient mortality. Unadjusted graft and patient survival were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method.
There were no differences in demographic criteria between the groups.
| Patient survival was equivalent, if not better, in those who received HCV+ livers.|
The researchers found that a greater percentage of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma received an HCV+ allograft (8.3% vs 3.1%).
There was a significance difference in patient survival in the HCV+ group, compared with the HCV- group (90% vs 77%).
Blood type group A, group B, group O incompatibility was significant. Incompatibility was 4.2% in the HCV+ group and only 1.3% in the HCV- group.
Author Carlos E. Marroquin, of the Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, said on behalf of the group, "Donor hepatitis C status does not impact on graft or patient survival after liver transplantation for HCV+ recipients.
"Their survival was equivalent, if not better, compared with the control group."
"Using HCV+ donor livers for transplantation in HCV+ recipients safely and effectively expands the organ donor pool," he concluded.