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Archive - Apr 30, 2017

In Trial, Penn Team Eradicates Hepatitis C in 10 Patients Following Lifesaving Kidney Transplants from HCV-Infected Donors; Approach May Open Possibility of Transplants for Hundreds More Patients Per Year

Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing the supply of organs for the nation's more than 97,000 patients who are awaiting kidney transplants - often for as many as five or more years. In 2016, Penn Medicine launched an innovative clinical trial to test the effect of transplanting kidneys from donors with HCV into patients currently on the kidney transplant waitlist who do not have the virus, and who opt in to receive these otherwise unused organs. Recipients were then treated with an antiviral therapy in an effort to cure the virus. Early data from the study were presented today by David S. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago, and were simultaneously published online on April 30, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The letter to the NEJM is titled “Trial of Transplantation of HCV-Infected Kidneys into Uninfected Recipients.” "We started this trial in the hopes that, if successful, we could open up an entirely new pool of donor organs, and effectively transplant hundreds, if not thousands, more patients who are awaiting a lifesaving organ," Dr. Goldberg said. "Historically, hepatitis-C-infected kidneys were often discarded, and were thought to be damaged or too 'high-risk.' Our pilot data demonstrate the ability to cure the contracted virus following transplantation in this patient population. If future studies are successful, this may be a viable option for patients who may otherwise never see a transplant." Dr.

Non-O Blood Groups Associated with Higher Risk of Heart Attack

Having a non-O blood group is associated with a higher risk of heart attack, according to research presented on April 30, 2017 at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure in Paris, France. Lead author Tessa Kole, a Master's degree student at the University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands, said: "It has been suggested that people with non-O blood groups (A, B, AB) are at higher risk for heart attacks and overall cardiovascular mortality, but this suggestion comes from case-control studies which have a low level of evidence. If this was confirmed it could have important implications for personalized medicine." The current study was a meta-analysis of prospective studies reporting on O and non-O blood groups, and incident cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction (heart attack), coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, cardiovascular events, and cardiovascular mortality. The study included 1,362,569 subjects from 11 prospective cohorts, described in nine articles. There were a total of 23,154 cardiovascular events. The researchers analyzed the association between blood group and all coronary events, combined cardiovascular events, and fatal coronary events. The analysis of all coronary events included 771,113 people with a non-O blood group and 519,743 people with an O blood group, of whom 11,437(1.5%) and 7,220 (1.4%) suffered a coronary event, respectively. The odds ratio (OR) for all coronary events was significantly higher in carriers of a non-O blood group, at 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI] of 1.06-1.13). The analysis of combined cardiovascular events included 708,276 people with a non-O blood group and 476,868 people with an O blood group, of whom 17,449 (2.5%) and 10,916 (2.3%) had an event, respectively.