Tests Show That Donor of Liver Was Not Exposed to AIDS Virus

Associated Press

Laboratory test results show that a teen-ager whose liver was transplanted into a critically ill man had not been exposed to the AIDS virus, although two preliminary tests had indicated exposure, officials said Friday.

The third test, the most comprehensive of three that are routinely performed to detect antibodies to the virus, was conclusive, said Dr. Margaret Ragni, co-director of the Central Blood Bank's Hemophilia Center here.

The patient, an unidentified man in his 50s who received the liver last Sunday, remained in critical condition Friday under surgical care in Presbyterian-University Hospital, where a spokesman said that his condition was considered normal following transplant surgery.

Hospital spokesman Tom Chakurda said that the "confirmation test" showed that the "recipient of the donor's organs has no chance of contracting AIDS through transplantation."

The presence of AIDS antibodies indicates previous exposure to the HTLV-III virus, but does not mean the person has the disease. The national Centers for Disease Control has said that only 10% of all those with AIDS antibodies eventually contract the disease.

The first two tests, which showed a weak presence of AIDS antibodies, are of a type that often produce false results, said Chakurda. They are performed relatively quickly, in a matter of hours, but the third test can take days or weeks.

The liver came from an unidentified Indiana teen-ager who died of injuries in a traffic accident.

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