Patients with severe heart disease, and who no longer respond to treatments, are usually referred for a heart transplant.
For this procedure, it is required that the heart is healthy so that the surgery can be done safely, without offering risks to the recipient.
Among the infections that can compromise the heart, making it unfit for donation, is hepatitis C , caused by a virus (HCV).
The infection is treated, but leaves antibodies or remnants of the virus in the body, which can cause reactions in those who receive the contaminated organ or blood.
The organs of patients with hepatitis C are not always discarded, because if the recipient also has the disease, there may be compatibility. But this already greatly reduces the chances of transplantation.
However, new research published in the monthly journal American Journal of Transplantation has shown important results to prove that depending on the clinical picture it is possible to extend the donation also to patients without hepatitis C.
How was the study done?
The researchers conducted a clinical analysis based on 10 patients from the University of Pennsylvania Health System who would receive the hearts of donors with hepatitis C.