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Hepatitis C infection in kidney transplant candidates and recipients

Marion Muche, MD
Seema Baid-Agrawal, MD
Section Editors
Daniel C Brennan, MD, FACP
Adrian M Di Bisceglie, MD
Deputy Editors
Albert Q Lam, MD
Allyson Bloom, MD


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes renal disease in native and transplanted kidneys. HCV-infected renal transplant recipients have worse patient and allograft survival after transplantation compared with noninfected renal transplant recipients.

Early detection, prevention, and treatment of HCV-related renal disease after kidney transplantation could improve posttransplant outcomes in this population [1].

This topic reviews HCV infection in the renal transplant recipient. HCV infection among dialysis patients, in the renal transplant donor, and in the general population is discussed elsewhere. (See "Hepatitis C virus infection in kidney donors" and "Hepatitis C virus infection in patients on maintenance dialysis" and "Clinical manifestations and natural history of chronic hepatitis C virus infection" and "Diagnosis and evaluation of chronic hepatitis C virus infection" and "Overview of the management of chronic hepatitis C virus infection".)


The reported prevalence of HCV infection among renal transplant recipients is approximately 1.8 to 8 percent [2-6]. Most HCV-infected transplant recipients are infected prior to transplant, while on dialysis [5]. The transmission of HCV through kidney transplantation is rare due to screening of donors [5]. (See "Hepatitis C virus infection in kidney donors".)


Screening for HCV infection — We agree with the 2008 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines that all transplant candidates should be screened for HCV infection [1]. Transplant candidates who were previously successfully treated for HCV infection should be rescreened at least annually.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 27, 2017.
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