The high-risk donor: viral infections in solid organ transplantation CURRENT OPINION IN ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION Singer, A. L., Kucirka, L. M., Namuyinga, R., Hanrahan, C., Subramanian, A. K., Segev, D. L. 2008; 13 (4): 400-404


Recently, four organ recipients were infected with HIV through transplantation, raising questions about current serologic testing policies. Currently, the decision to use enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or nucleic acid testing, an expensive and time-consuming method capable of detecting more recent infections, is left up to individual organ procurement organizations. The purpose of this review was to present estimates of the window period between infection and detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and nucleic acid testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus; and to evaluate the impact of those infections on posttransplant outcomes.Nucleic acid testing for HIV can detect infections 12-13 days earlier than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; in the case of hepatitis B virus, infections are detected 21.8-36 days earlier; and in the case of hepatitis C virus, infections are detected 26-60 days earlier. Studies indicate that it is possible to manage all three infections posttransplant. HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfections seem to present the greatest posttransplant management challenges due to drug toxicities.Nucleic acid testing can reduce the window period and thus increase the probability of detecting viral infections. HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus positive organs may be appropriate for use in some situations; nucleic acid testing helps patients and physicians make informed decisions about their use.

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View details for PubMedID 18685336