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Sarah Stein Smith

Sara Smith


Type of project: Research
Title of project: Outcomes of Heart Transplantation using HCV Donors
Description of project:  This was a descriptive study of 15 heart transplant recipients receiving organs between September 2016 and June 2017.  The recipients were listed in UNOS as willing to accept a donor with HCV positive antibody (AB) and/or positive nucleic acid testing (NAT).

Why you chose this project:  Per United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are high rates of death for patient’s waitlisted for heart transplants.  This is partially due to a limited supply of appropriate donors and recipients with characteristics unfavorable for transplant (high levels of antibodies, large stature and common blood type).  There are new agents available for treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with high rates of efficacy, low side effect profile, and fewer drug interactions.  Liver and kidney transplant programs have utilized HCV positive donors with good outcomes. 

Presentation and publication as a result of this project (poster, podium or publications)

Title of poster:  Outcomes of Heart Transplantation using HCV Donors was presented at the Aprilfest Poster Session at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on May 4, 2018 

This study was presented at the International Society for Heart & LungTransplantation (ISHLT) in Nice, France in April 2018 by the physicians involved in the project.    



Notes from the spotlight:

  • Patients report waiting on list is stressful/anxiety-provoking and hope of lowered wait time was appreciated
  • All patients who developed HCV viremia were treated and achieved cure
  • Not all patients who received a HCV organ developed infection
  • More data needed on long term effects of donor-derived HCV infection, including risk of CAV