A study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports that American transplant centres are using three times more hepatitis C-infected kidneys for transplant rather than dispose of them.
There has long been a fear that a transplant receiving a kidney with hepatitis C would become ill. According to this report, medical advancements in treating hepatitis C mean that those recipients won’t become ill.
Jen Christensen of CNN writes:
“Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious damage. Prior to 2018, most of the infected organs went to patients who already had hepatitis C. Since 2018, most of these infected kidneys, about 75 per cent, went to patients who did not have the virus.
“Patients who received infected kidneys had nearly the same function as those who received uninfected kidneys, the study said.”
Dr. Vishnu Potluri, the study’s lead author and a nephrology fellow at the U of Pennsylvania, told Christensen:
“The key thing about hepatitis C is that millions of Americans have this infection and most don’t know that they have it, it’s mild and takes many years for it to progress.”
Christensen continued: “Until a few years ago, there weren’t really good options to treat hepatitis C. Now, there are drugs with high cure rates, Potluri said. The transplant community realized that you could transplant a kidney from someone with hepatitis C and start treating them right away, Potluri said, and the early trials found the infection could be cured after the transplant.”
Hopefully, this study will signal a change for the system in the U.S., where nearly 40 per cent of hepatitis C-infected kidneys donated between January 2018 and March 2019 were discarded.
Christensen’s story is right here.
Don’t forget that Kamloops’ 2019 Kidney Walk is set for Sunday, Sept. 22, at McDonald Park. You are able to register starting at 10 a.m., with the walk to begin at 11.
The Brock Central Lions Club will be on hand to provide breakfast — pancakes, sausages and coffee — by donation.
A few numbers for you: Kidney Walkers in B.C. and Yukon have walked 26 million kilometres over the past 12 years. That is more than 67 return trips to the moon. . . . They have raised more than $2.5 million in support of kidney patients. . . . The Kidney Walk helps the Kidney Foundation raise awareness about kidney disease and raises funds for important programs and services to help kidney patients in this community and others across BC and the Yukon. . . .
As of mid-August, in the region served by Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, there were 1,378 patients with chronic kidney disease being monitored by nephrologists. Of those, 140 had undergone transplants, and 114 were on dialysis. . . . As of Aug. 27, there were 68 people in our area on the pre-transplant list. . . . In 2018, there were 339 kidney transplants performed in B.C., a one-year record.
My wife, Dorothy, will be celebrating the sixth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in her sixth straight Kidney Walk. In her six walks, she has raised more than $15,000. If you would like to support her, you may do so right here.