Most renal transplant recipients would accept a kidney from a donor at increased risk for viral infections (DIRVI), a new study found.

Peter P. Reese, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and his collaborators, gave renal transplant candidates a questionnaire that presented 12 different scenarios in which waiting time for a kidney, the donor age as a surrogate for kidney quality, and the risk of contracting HIV were varied systematically.

Of 175 respondents, 103 (58.9%) accepted DIRVI kidneys under some conditions, 31 (17.7%) always accepted DIRVI kidneys, and 42 (24%) rejected DIRVI kidneys under all conditions.

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Patients were more likely to accept a DIRVI kidney when waiting time was longer, the donor was younger, and HIV risk was lower, the investigators reported in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (published online ahead of print).

Additionally, patients on dialysis and older patients also were more likely to accept DIRVI kidneys.

The authors concluded that “despite recent negative publicity about donor-derived viral infections, most renal transplant candidates would consider accepting DIRVI kidneys under some conditions.

When listing patients for kidney transplantation, transplant physicians should openly discuss the possibility of being listed as eligible to receive DIRVI organs—with the benefits and risks associated with this choice—without fearing that such conversations will undermine the ability to place these organs.”