According to criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10% of deceased donor kidneys are considered "high-risk" for infection (HIV, HCV, HBV) and disease transmission.
But new research suggests that many of these organs are safe and therefore should not be labeled as high-risk. Results of this study will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013 November 5-10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.
Researchers led by Moya Gallagher, RN (New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center) found that since 2004, a total of 170 patients received kidneys that met CDC's high-risk criteria at Columbia University Medical Center. In addition to standard pre-transplant blood screening for HIV, HCV, and HBV, these patients were also screened by antibody and DNA testing at 6, 12, and 24 weeks post transplant. All patients received standard immunosuppressive therapy.
Among the donors, 57.1% had a history IV drug use, 25.9% had high-risk sexual behavior, 11.8% were incarcerated, 7.1% were men who had sex with men, and 4.7% had received multiple blood transfusions. The majority (77.8%) were imported from other centers, suggesting that other centers declined to use these organs. After a median of 2.4 years of follow up, 86.5% of transplants were functioning, and there was no transmission of the viral diseases in question.
The findings demonstrate the relative safety of so-called high-risk deceased donor organs when screened by current methods. These organs should probably be labeled as "identified risk" rather than "high-risk," according to the investigators.
"Utilization of these organs represents an opportunity for shortening wait time for patients while providing good outcomes and an extremely low level of risk for transmission of infections," said Gallagher. "For most deceased organ donors, the medical/social history is obtained second or third hand, and it is erroneous to assume that some of these patients do not fall into the groups that constitute the 'high-risk' classification. Therefore, we believe that the current dichotomized classification is misleading and does a disservice to those patients on the waiting list," she added.
Study "CDC High Risk Designation for Deceased Kidney Donors Is a Misnomer." (Abstract 2603)
Disclosures: David J. Cohen is a consultant for Alexion - International aHUS Registry; receives research funding from Novartis, Pfizer, and Genentech; and receives honoraria from BMS, Genzyme, Astelas, Novartis, and Sandoz. Lloyd Ratner receives research funding from Alexion and Quark; and Sumit Mohan receives research funding from Pfizer and Gambro.ASN Kidney Week 2013, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 14,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2011 will take place November 5 - 10, 2013 in Atlanta, GA.The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.