The use of hepatitis C-infected (HCV +) liver donors for HCV + transplant recipients was previously controversial, but mounting evidence now supports this practice. HCV-related cirrhosis accounts for 45% of the liver transplants in the United States; however, these transplant recipients have worse transplant outcomes when compared to non-HCV infected (HCV -) recipients. The optimal utility of the donor graft is therefore decreased with transplantation of HCV + recipients because the largest percentage of organs are transplanted into patients with inferior survival outcomes. Increased use of HCV + livers, which can only be transplanted into HCV + recipients, provides additional transplant liver allografts directly targeted to the recipient population at greatest need. As HCV + recipients are transplanted with previously unusable organs, more HCV - donor livers are available for the HCV - recipient population, thereby increasing the utility of HCV - grafts. Therefore, increased use of HCV + donors results in increased utility of all available liver allografts and a shorter waitlist time to transplant, because the total number of available organs is increased. This review discusses the use of HCV + donor livers in transplantation, including donor organ evaluation, hepatitis C in liver transplantation, a review of the available literature, and the future direction of HCV + donors in transplantation.
- Extended criteria donor (ECD)
- Hepatitis C
- Liver transplant
- Transplant outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas