NYMC Faculty Publications

Utilization of Hepatitis C Virus Infected Donors in Heart Transplant Recipients with Elevated MELD-XI Score

Author Type(s)

Student, Resident/Fellow, Faculty



Journal Title

Clinical Transplantation

First Page


Document Type


Publication Date




Second Department



BACKGROUND: The advent of direct-acting antivirals has helped to increase the safe utilization of organs from hepatitis C virus positive (HCV+) donors. However, the outcomes of heart transplantation (HT) using an HCV+ donor are unclear in recipients with underlying liver disease represented by an elevated model for end-stage liver disease excluding international normalized ratio (MELD-XI). METHODS: The United Network of Organ Sharing database was queried from Jan 2016 to Dec 2021. Post-transplant outcomes stratified by recipient MELD-XI score (low <10.37, medium, 10.38-13.39, and high >13.4) was compared between patients with HT from HCV+ (N = 792) and patients with HT from HCV-negative donors (N = 15,266). RESULTS: The median MELD-XI score was comparable (HCV+, 12.1, vs. HCV-negative, 11.8, p = .37). In the HCV+ group, donors were older (33 vs. 31 years, p < .001). Ischemic time of donor hearts (3.48 vs. 3.28 h, p < .001) and travel distance (250 vs. 157 miles, p < .001) were longer in HCV+ group. In the Kaplan Meier analysis with a median follow-up of 750 days, survival was comparable between the two groups (2-year survival, MELD-XI Low: HCV+, 92.4 ± 3.6% vs. HCV-negative, 91.1 ±.8%, p = .83, Medium: HCV+ 89.2 ± 4.3% vs. HCV-negative, 88.2 ± 1.0%, p = .68, and High: HCV+, 84.9 ± 4.5% vs. HCV-negative, 84.6 ± 1.1%, p = .75) In multivariate Cox hazard models, HCV donors were not associated with mortality in each MELD-XI subgroup (Low: adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 1.02, p = .94; Medium: aHR, .95, p = .81; and High: aHR, .93, p = .68). CONCLUSION: Utilization of HCV+ hearts was not associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes in recipients with an elevated MELD- XI score.