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February 21, 2007

Hepatitis C in Organ Donors and Heart Transplant Recipients

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(7):696-697. doi:10.1001/jama.297.7.696-a

To the Editor: In their study of hepatitis C virus (HCV) seropositivity, Dr Gasink and colleagues1 described inferior clinical outcomes in heart transplant recipients who received organs from donors with detectable antibody to HCV (anti-HCV–positive) compared with recipients of anti-HCV–negative organs. These results differ from prior single-center reports,2 presumably due to the larger number of patients included in this United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) registry analysis and the longer duration of follow-up. However, other analyses using the UNOS database demonstrated similar patient survival in recipients of anti-HCV–positive livers compared with anti-HCV–negative livers.3 Therefore, the safety and efficacy of transplanting organs from anti-HCV–positive donors may vary substantially by organ type.

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