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Introducing Dr. Miklos Molnar & Hepatitis C Kidney Transplants

Introducing Dr. Miklos Molnar & Hepatitis C Kidney Transplants

The Division of Nephrology and Hypertension would like to introduce Dr. Miklos Molnar, who came to the University of Utah in February, 2021 to assume the role of Chief, Section of Transplantation in the Division and Medical Director of the Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program at the University of Utah Hospital & Clinics. Dr. Molnar received his medical degree, postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology fellowship as well as PhD degree from Semmelweis University, a top university in Hungary. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee before he came to Utah.

Since he took over the Kidney/Pancreas Medical Directorship role at our institution, with the support of our excellent existing Nephrology faculty, Surgery Department colleagues and the Hospital Transplant Service personnel, the program is flourishing. The highest annual number of kidney transplantations at the University of Utah was 155 in 2018. In the first six months of the current calendar year, we have transplanted 93 patients; so our projected number of kidney transplantations for this year is higher than 180. Additionally, we have already placed more than 100 patients on the kidney transplant list in the first six months of this year, which is also the highest number in the history of our program.

We have also instituted a new program in our Kidney Transplant Program. Our program has now started accepting donor kidneys from people infected with hepatitis C and transplanting them to non-infected recipients. Currently, 1000-1500 kidneys from potential donors with hepatitis C that are otherwise acceptable for transplant are discarded every year in the U.S. The goal of our new program is to increase the transplantation rate in our center by using these kidneys locally, instead of exporting them to different parts of the country. With the proper precautions and treatment with antiviral agents, this strategy of dealing with hepatitis C in kidney transplantation has previously been proven to be safe and, at the same time, significantly decreases the waiting time of the recipients for organs. In this strategy, the recipients receive treatment with direct-acting antiviral agents soon after transplantation and the expected cure rate of hepatitis C is close to 100%.

This rapid growth in kidney transplants came with significant burden on every member of our program. We are, however, highly encouraged by the positive impact it produces on the lives of the patients with end-stage kidney disease as well as the shared common goal and high morale of our transplant team. With the planned growth of our outreach programs and commensurate support of each component of the team, we are very hopeful that the Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program will continue to flourish with increasing numbers while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes. Every spoke of the wheel is crucial and valued.