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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Organ Donation from Donors with Hepatitis B or C in South Korea: A 2013-2017 Nationwide Data Analysis

Hoonsung Park, Eun-sil Jung, Myoung Hwa Lee, Jae-Myeong Lee

Department of Surgery, Korea University Medical Center, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

Ann Transplant 2021; 26:e928947

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.928947

Available online: 2021-03-24

Published: 2021-04-30


BACKGROUND: The number of organ donations from hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive donors is gradually increasing; however, the current status of organ donation from brain-dead donors with hepatitis in South Korea has not been analyzed. This study aimed to analyze this.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In total, 9210 potential brain deaths were reported in South Korea from January 2013 to December 2017, of which 333 were hepatitis carriers (HBV, n=246; HCV, n=87). Based on the data from the Korean Network for Organ Sharing and Korea Organ Donation Agency, 2460 completion of transplantations from brain-dead donors have been performed, of which 71 were hepatitis carriers (HBV, n=60; HCV, n=11).
RESULTS: There were 60 and 11 transplantations from HBV- and HCV-positive brain-dead donors, respectively. The main reasons for organ transplantation failure were recipient’s refusal (n=90), unsuitability as donors (n=80), non-brain death (n=45), and cardiac death (n=20). There were 71 and 31 kidney and liver donations, respectively; the average number of organs donated by HBV-positive donors was higher than that donated by HCV-positive donors. HBV-positive donors donated more hearts and livers than HCV-positive donors.
CONCLUSIONS: There are few organ donations from brain-dead donors with hepatitis B or C which led to transplantation completion in South Korea, and the main reasons for failure are recipient’s refusal to receive organs from donors with hepatitis and unsuitability for donation due to active viral conditions. To promote organ transplantations from donors with hepatitis B and C virus, we could consider 3 strategies: 1) reducing recipient’s refusal rates by educating recipients and their families on the outcomes of organ donation from hepatitis carriers, 2) establishing treatment protocols for infection management after organ transplantations from HBV/HCV brain-dead donors, and 3) increasing the relevant experience of medical staff.

Keywords: Brain Death, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tissue Donors, Transplantation