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Am J Transplant. 2013 Oct;13(10):2611-8. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12429. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Reducing infection transmission in solid organ transplantation through donor nucleic acid testing: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.


For solid organ transplant (SOT) donors, nucleic acid-amplification testing (NAT) may reduce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission over antibody (Ab) testing given its shorter detection window period. We compared SOT donor NAT + Ab versus Ab alone using decision models to estimate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs; cost per quality-adjusted life year [QALY] gained) from the societal perspective across a range of HIV/HCV prevalence values and NAT costs. The cost per QALY gained was calculated for two scenarios: (1) favorable: low cost ($150/donor)/high prevalence (HIV: 1.5%; HCV: 18.2%) and (2) unfavorable: high cost ($500/donor)/low prevalence (HIV: 0.1%; HCV: 1.5%). In the favorable scenario, adding NAT screening cost $161 013 per QALY gained for HIV was less costly) for HCV, and cost $86 653 per QALY gained for HIV/HCV combined. For the unfavorable scenario, the costs were $15 568 484, $221 006 and $10 077 599 per QALY gained, respectively. Universal HCV NAT + Ab for donors appears cost-effective to reduce infection transmission from SOT donors, while HIV NAT + Ab is not, except where HIV NAT is ≤$150/donor and prevalence is ≥1.5%. Our analyses provide important data to facilitate the decision to implement HIV and HCV NAT for deceased SOT donors and shape national policy regarding how to reduce infection transmission in SOT.


Cost-effectiveness analysis; graft; organ transplantation; surgery

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