HCV-infected lungs and hearts can be safely transplanted into non-infected individuals

The transplantation of organs from donors with hepatitis C viraemia is typically avoided, but the advent of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents could prevent transmission of HCV to the recipient and enable the use of HCV-infected organs. In a US-based open label trial, 44 patients without HCV infection received organ transplantations (36 lungs, 8 hearts) from HCV-infected donors, immediately followed by a 4-week regimen of a pangenotypic DAA agent. Of the 35 patients with at least 6 months of follow-up, all had excellent graft function with a sustained undetectable hepatitis C viral load from ~2 weeks after transplantation. Thus, this approach of preventing establishment of HCV infection with DAA therapy could increase the available donor organ pool.


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  1. Woolley, A. E. et al. Heart and lung transplants from HCV-infected donors to uninfected recipients. N. Engl. J. Med. (2019)

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Correspondence to Iain Dickson.

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Dickson, I. HCV-infected lungs and hearts can be safely transplanted into non-infected individuals. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 326 (2019).

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