Hepatitis C—its prevalence in end-stage renal failure patients and clinical course after kidney transplantation

Carlos A. Stempel, John Lake, George Kuo, Flavio Vincenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


There is a high incidence of chronic liver disease in end-stage renal failure patients on dialysis. Hepatitis C virus appears responsible for 80% of posttransfusion hepatitis, and up to 80% of sporadic hepatitis and cryp­togenic cirrhosis. Anti-HCV antibodies correlate highly with the presence of active infection. The clinical impli­cations of HCV infection in patients undergoing renal transplantation is unknown. Part I: We undertook a descriptive crosssectional study of all renal failure patients admitted for kidney transplant between 1/84 and 12/88. Pretransplant sera were assayed for anti-HCV using an ELISA. Patients were divided into anti-HCV-positive (study group) and anti-HCV-negative (controls). Part II: A cohort study was performed with both groups followed from the time of transplantation to the present. Comparisons were made by t tests, chi-square analysis with Yates correction, Mann Whitney test for nonparametric results and multiple regression analysis. Part I: Anti-HCV was present in 76 of 716 sera as­sayed. There were no differences in sex, age, number of previous transplants, and underlying renal disease. Four variables predicted the presence of anti-HCV: number of blood transfusions; duration on dialysis; i.v. drug abuse, and nonwhite race. Part II: A group of 596 patients was further analyzed. The mean duration of follow-up was not different be­tween the two groups. There were no differences in graft survival, overall mortality, or mortality secondary to liver disease or sepsis. Based on these results, the presence of anti-HCV should not be a contraindication for kidney transplan­tation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-276
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993
Externally publishedYes


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