Transplantation of high-risk donor organs: a survey of US solid organ transplant center practices as reported by transplant infectious diseases physicians


Michael G. Ison, MD, MS, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Divisions of Infectious Diseases & Organ Transplantation, 645 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Tel.: 312-695-4994; fax: 312-695-5088;


Abstract:  Public Health Service (PHS) guidelines developed in 1994 provide guidance to minimize the risk of HIV transmission and to monitor recipients following the transplantation of “high-risk” organs. There are no data on current practices or opinions of these policies by transplant infectious diseases (TID) physicians. An electronic survey was sent to all US solid organ transplatation centers with identified TID expertise as self-reported to the American Society of Transplantation and Infectious Diseases Society of America. A total of 108 surveys were sent in December 2007 and 32 responses were received (30%). Thirty-three percent of centers obtain only verbal, 52% verbal and written, and 14% do not obtain any special consent from recipients of organs from high-risk donors (ROHRD). Post-solid organ transplantation serologies for HIV, hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are obtained at 40% of centers in ROHRD only, 20% in all recipients, and not performed in 40%; post-solid organ transplantation nucleic acid testing (NAT) testing is carried out in 36–45% of centers in ROHRD, 11% in all recipients, and not performed in approximately 50% of centers. Only 22.7% of respondents believed current guidelines accurately represent what they consider to be high-risk donors. There is significant variability in the acceptance and management of ROHRD in the US. Most TID experts do not feel that the current PHS guidelines accurately define high-risk donors.