Background. Information related to infectious disease testing policies and practices of organ procurement organizations in the United States does not currently exist. Methods. A total of 63 organ procurement organizations in the United States were surveyed during May 1996. Participants responded to a detailed questionnaire concerning infectious disease tests performed for tissue and solid organ donors and policies related to the reporting and notification of positive test results. Results. The response rate was 77.8%. The majority of testing is performed by hospital laboratories with an expected turnaround time of 5 hr or less by 71% of organ procurement organizations. Almost all routinely perform screening tests for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, human T lymphocyte virus I, and hepatitis B surface antigen. Other tests are performed with greater variability. Although the majority of organ procurement organizations perform confirmatory tests when screening tests are positive, 35% do not perform confirmatory testing or do so only sporadically. There are a wide range of policies concerning the subsequent reporting of positive infectious disease tests and to whom results should be reported. Conclusions. Infectious disease testing policies of organ procurement organizations, particularly for solid organs, demonstrate variability in interpretation and perceived significance of positive test results, the initiation or need for reflex and confirmatory testing, the reporting of positive results, and to whom positive test results should be reported. There is a need for a consistent national policy for appropriate infectious disease testing and reporting of results.
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