HealthDay News — Post-transplant hepatitis C treatment increases access to transplant and reduces waitlist time among hepatitis C-positive patients awaiting kidney transplantation, according to a study published online May 14 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

David M. Chascsa, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Ariz., and colleagues retrospectively reviewed the course of 36 hepatitis C-positive patients awaiting kidney transplantation at two large centers within the same health system. The two centers had near-identical care delivery models with the exception of timing of hepatitis C treatment. The impact of timing of hepatitis C treatment was assessed with respect to access to transplant, waitlist time, and treatment efficacy and tolerability.

The researchers note that one patient underwent transplantation in the pre-transplant treatment group. The one-year transplantation rate was 12.5 percent in the pre-transplant treatment group versus 67.9 percent in the post-transplantation group (P = 0.0013). In the post-transplant group, the median waitlist time was 122 days, which was significantly shorter than the center’s regional and national wait time. There was no difference in allograft quality based on pathologic review or treatment-related adverse events between the two groups.

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“A strategy of post-transplant hepatitis C treatment increased access to transplant and reduced waitlist time,” the authors write. “Delaying treatment until after transplant did not appear to adversely impact recipients’ kidney allograft or overall survival.”

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