-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Many kidneys from deceased
donors that are classified as "high-risk" are safe if the organs
are screened using current methods, according to a small new
About 10 percent of kidneys from dead donors are considered to
have a high risk for infection with HIV (the virus that causes
AIDS) and hepatitis C and B, and for disease transmission,
according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
However, the new study concluded that many of these kidneys are
safe and therefore should not be labeled as high-risk.
Researchers looked at 170 patients at Columbia University
Medical Center who received kidneys that met CDC's high-risk
criteria. Among the donors, about 57 percent had a history of
injection drug use, about 26 percent had high-risk sexual behavior,
about 12 percent were in jail, about 7 percent were men who had sex
with men, and about 5 percent had received multiple blood
About 78 percent of the donor kidneys came from other medical
centers, indicating that those centers refused to use the kidneys,
according to the study to be presented in early November at the
meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), in
After an average 2.4 years of follow-up, 86.5 percent of the
transplanted kidneys were functioning and none of the patients had
been infected with HIV or hepatitis C or B, the investigators
The findings demonstrate the relative safety of so-called
high-risk kidneys when they are screened using current methods, the
researchers said. They suggested that these organs should probably
be labeled as "identified-risk" rather than "high-risk."
Because this study will be presented at a medical meeting, the
data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed journal.
"Utilization of these organs represents an opportunity for shortening wait time for patients while providing good outcomes and an extremely low level of risk for transmission of infections," study leader Moya Gallagher, at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, said in an ASN news release.
"For most deceased organ donors, the medical/social history is obtained second- or third-hand, and it is erroneous to assume that some of these patients do not fall into the groups that constitute the 'high-risk' classification. Therefore, we believe that the current . . . classification [division] is misleading and does a disservice to those patients on the waiting list," Gallagher added.
The National Kidney Foundation has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.