Liver disease is a common finding after organ transplantation and might in part be due to transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of positive results with different anti-HCV tests and HCV-RNA in a local donor pool and to clarify to what extent HCV was transmitted to organ recipients. Serum samples from 207 consecutive organ donors were analysed retrospectively with anti-HCV ELISA (2nd and 3rd generation), anti-HCV RIBA (2nd generation) and HCV polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Organ recipients at risk were identified and followed up serologically and clinically. Anti-HCV seroprevalance in organ donors was 4.3% for 2nd generation ELISA, 4.8% for 3rd generation ELISA and 1.9 % for 2nd generation RIBA. HCV-PCR was positive in 1.4%. Nine organs from four RIBA-positive donors were transplanted into eight recipients of whom four became anti-HCV and PCR positive after transplantation. HCV-PCR became positive several days after transplantation whereas anti-HCV seroconversion took place after 8-9 months. Two recipients developed acute liver disease and another two showed features of mild chronic liver disease but no serious complications due to HCV infection were observed.


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