Outcome of Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Kidney Transplant Candidates Who Remain on the Waiting List


*Corresponding author: Roy D. Bloom, rdbloom@mail.med.upenn.edu


The management of patients awaiting transplantation is a growing concern. This retrospective cohort study examined outcomes of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected kidney candidates who remain waitlisted. Records from 315 HCV+ kidney candidates evaluated between 1992 and 2002, were reviewed. A total of 300 (95.1%) patients were receiving renal replacement therapy at evaluation, median duration 48.2 + 4.3 months. The diabetes prevalence was 42.9% in HCV+ candidates, compared to 35.9% among 602 currently listed HCV− patients (p = 0.023). Liver disease, defined by abnormal hepatic biochemistry or histology, was observed in 59% patients. Median post-evaluation follow-up was 1440 ± 75 days; 138 candidates were transplanted. Kaplan–Meier survival was higher among transplanted than non-transplanted patients (p = 0.003). Of 177 patients not transplanted, 76 were delisted, mostly due to death (45%) and non-compliance (28%), infrequently because of liver disease (8.8%). A Cox regression model was fit to examine risk factors for waitlist death; only diabetes was associated (HR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.1–4.1, p = 0.02), while liver disease was not. This study demonstrates that, in waitlisted HCV+ kidney patients, diabetes occurs with increased prevalence and is a major mortality determinant. Diabetic HCV+ kidney candidates are therefore a patient subgroup that requires frequent and careful reevaluation to ensure ongoing transplantability.