Transplantation Direct (Oct 2021)

Successful Implementation of an Increased Viral Risk Donor Waiting List for Preconsented Kidney Transplant Candidates in Victoria, Australia

  • Darren Lee, PhD,
  • Indra Gramnea, MN,
  • Nina Seng, MN,
  • Meaghan Bruns, PGDipNP,
  • Fiona Hudson, BAppSci,
  • Rohit D’Costa, MBBS,
  • Leanne McEvoy, GradDip,
  • Joe Sasadeusz, PhD,
  • Michael J. O’Leary, MD,
  • Gopal Basu, DM,
  • Joshua Y. Kausman, PhD,
  • Rosemary Masterson, PhD,
  • Kathy Paizis, PhD,
  • John Kanellis, PhD,
  • Peter D. Hughes, PhD,
  • David J. Goodman, PhD,
  • John B. Whitlam, PhD

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 10
p. e758


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Background. Increased viral risk donors (IVRDs) with increased risk behaviors for blood-borne virus infection and negative nucleic acid testing have a low absolute risk of “window period” infection. Utilization and allocation of IVRD organs differ between jurisdictions. Methods. We examined the characteristics and utilization of deceased donor IVRD kidneys and recipient outcomes within a 2-y period (July 31, 2018–July 31, 2020) postimplementation of a new opt-in allocation pathway for preconsented recipients in Victoria, Australia. Results. Fifty-six kidneys from 31 IVRDs were utilized, comprising 13% of donors. Preconsent rate to accept IVRD kidneys increased to 41% of the waitlist in the 2 y postimplementation, and IVRDs having no kidneys utilized reduced to 0%. Compared with non-IVRD kidneys, kidney offer declines >10 per donor were less likely from IVRDs (3% vs 19%; P < 0.05). IVRDs were younger (median age 36 [IQR 30–44] vs 51 [35–60] y; P < 0.0001), with lower kidney donor profile index (25% [13–40%] vs 57% [29–75%]; P < 0.0001), and less hypertension (0% vs 22%; P < 0.01). Estimated glomerular filtration rate 3 mo post-transplant was superior (P < 0.01). Injecting drug use (61%) was the most common increased risk behavior. 29% of IVRDs were hepatitis C antibody positive but nucleic acid testing negative. No active infection was detected in any recipient post-transplant. Conclusions. The described opt-in system permits efficient allocation and utilization of kidneys from IVRDs, with superior quality and graft function. Education is crucial to facilitate informed consent and equity of access to this donor pool.