Toronto doctors have successfully transplanted lungs from deceased donors with hepatitis C into patients in need of the life-saving organs, followed by treatment to prevent them from becoming infected with the potentially liver-destroying virus.

Since October, surgeons at Toronto General Hospital have performed the transplants in 11 patients as part of a pilot study to evaluate the safety of using lungs from hepatitis C-infected donors — a previously untenable idea.

“With the opioid crisis and persistent high rates of intravenous drug use, we have a great number of potential lung donors who are hepatitis C-positive, many of whom didn’t even know they were sick when they were alive,” said Dr. Marcelo Cypel, a thoracic surgeon at TGH and principal investigator of the study.

“The current protocol is to not use these organs, but we started to question if that still made sense in an era when direct antiviral agents can cure hepatitis C,” he said.

Read more…https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2018/06/14/lungs-from-deceased-donors-with-hepatitis-c-can-be-safely-transplanted-researchers.html