Most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients know that High-Risk Kidneys are those which are considered to be High-Risk for transmitting viral and other infections. Although these types of kidneys were once considered to be too risky for transplantation in non-infected patients and immediately discarded, now researchers at the Ivy League - University of Pennsylvania, ask for Hepatitis C-positive kidneys to be used in candidates with or without a pre-existing Hepatitis C Virus Infection.
If you ask most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients whether they would accept a High-Risk Kidney they will likely say "No." However, with a wait time of five (5) to seven (7) years and more than 100,000 people on the waiting list, researchers suggest "there are thousands of viable Hepatitis C-positive kidneys that are discarded each year solely because they’re infected," and they may be a valuable opportunity for Kidney Transplant candidates with or without the pre-existing virus.
While radical on the surface, the New England Journal of Medicine noted that there are "new antiviral therapies with cure rates exceeding 95%." However, intentionally infecting Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients with Hepatitis C through Kidney Transplantation would require a significant amount of oversight and a "rigorous informed consent process that outlines the risks and uncertainties."
Would you accept a High-Risk Hepatitis C infected kidney? Well, researchers contend that such an expansion could save "hundreds of lives each year." This is a significant number since over 4,500 Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients die each year while waiting for a Kidney Transplant.
Still, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients will likely want to know, "Who should accept this type of kidney?" According to authors of the study at University of Pennsylvania, uninfected patients who have a high risk of health deterioration if they continue Dialysis (elderly patients or those with serious co-existing conditions, such as cardiovascular disease), "hard-to-match" blood types or other conditions that would mean many years of waiting for an appropriate uninfected kidney to become available would be the best candidates for High-Risk Kidney Transplantation.
Findings suggest that "providing HCV-positive (Hepatitis C Virus-positive) kidneys and HCV therapy to HCV-negative recipients will lead to better outcomes than Dialysis." If this is something that you are interested in taking part in, then contact your Nephrologists and Transplant Teams about the process of accepting High-Risk Kidney Transplants. Share your thoughts about the University of Pennsylvania research findings with the over 25,100 Friends on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page.