Those with hepatitis C who need a liver transplant might have a shorter wait if they are transplanted with a hepatitis C-infected liver.
Here’s some potentially good news for people with hepatitis C who are waiting for liver transplants: Hepatitis C-infected livers seem to do as well as healthy livers in these patients, a new study indicates.
The findings suggest that using hepatitis C-infected (HCV-positive) livers could help reduce wait times for people with hepatitis C who need a transplant, the researchers said. Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver, leading to inflammation, scarring and liver cancer.
More than 15,000 people in the United States are on the liver transplant waiting list, and about 16 percent will die before they receive a new liver, according to background notes with the study.
In the United States, use of HCV-positive livers for liver transplants in people with hepatitis C has tripled, from less than 3 percent in 1995 to more than 9 percent in 2013.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly almost 44,000 people with hepatitis C who received a liver transplant in the United States during that time. Almost 6 percent received an HCV-positive liver. There was no difference in time to death between those who received either a liver with hepatitis or a healthy liver, the study found.