Hepatitis C–Positive Donors in Cardiac Transplantation: Problems and Opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: With the growing need for donor hearts and longer transplant waiting lists, there is a growing interest in expanding the donor pool by reconsidering previously excluded donor candidates. There has been an increase in solid organ availability due to drug overdose deaths in the setting of the recent opioid epidemic. However, these donors often have transmissible infections such as hepatitis C. In this review, we discuss the challenges associated with heart transplantation from hepatitis C–infected donors as well as the recent advancements that are making the use of these organs possible. Recent Findings: With the introduction and widespread use of nucleic acid testing (NAT), the ability to distinguish viremic donors and those that have cleared the virus has become a reality. In addition, with the emergence of direct antiviral agents, there is an increase in data showing the short-term outcomes and success of hepatitis C treatment for recipients of viremic donor hearts. Summary: As techniques to distinguish donor hepatitis C infection status and successful treatments emerge, the percentage of accepted hepatitis C donor hearts is increasing. A number of studies showing success with hepatitis C organ transplants present a promising new avenue for organ procurement essential to meet the increasing demand for donor hearts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent heart failure reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Direct antiviral agents
  • Heart failure
  • Heart transplant
  • Hepatitis C
  • Nucleic acid testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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