Use of Hepatitis C Positive Organs: Patient Attitudes in Urban Chicago

Thomas Couri, Thomas G. Cotter, Daniel Chen, Mary Hammes, Bharathi Reddy, Michelle Josephson, Heidi Yeh, Raymond T. Chung, Sonali Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected organs are being transplanted in patients with and without HCV in the direct-acting antiviral era. Little is known about patient attitudes towards receiving an HCV-positive organ. Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine transplant candidates' attitudes towards receiving HCV-positive organs. Methods: Adult solid organ transplant candidates were identified during a clinic visit or during outpatient hemodialysis from May to December 2017. Willing participants completed a survey. Descriptive analysis including mean and median for continuous variables and frequencies for categorical variables were calculated by the appropriate statistical method and compared across willing, unsure, and unwilling patients and between willing and unsure/unwilling patients. Results: Fifty patients were surveyed with median age 54.5 years (range 32-77). Eighty-eight percent were awaiting kidney transplant, and 12% were awaiting other organs. Median waitlist time was 39.8 months (range 1.7-203 months). Most patients (90%) had prior knowledge of HCV, but only 60% knew it was curable. Forty-six percent were willing, 30% were unsure, and 24% were unwilling to receive an HCV-positive organ. Those willing to accept an HCV-positive organ were significantly older, Caucasian, had shorter waitlist times, and had greater physician trust than those that were unsure/unwilling. Similar worries, such as HCV incurability, insurance coverage, fears over the organ not working, and post-transplant death, were expressed in both the willing and unsure/unwilling patients. Conclusions: The availability of HCV-positive organs may expand the donor pool and decrease waitlist times and mortality. These data highlight the need for patient education towards use of these organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatitis C
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Organ allocation
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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