Assessment of clinical outcomes in renal transplant recipients with COVID-19

Yilmaz G., Ebru O., Ibrahim B., Ulkem C.

JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jmv.27271
  • Keywords: COVID-19, mortality, patient outcomes, renal transplant, transplant recipients


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected more than a hundred million individuals and caused more than three million deaths worldwide. Specific risk groups were defined for increased risk of mortality and morbidity in COVID-19, and renal transplant recipients are at a significantly increased risk regarding outcomes due to their immunosuppressed conditions. This study evaluated the general characteristics of kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19 infection. Among 1257 transplant cases, 56 had COVID-19 infection, and 23 (41%) were hospitalized during the 9-month study period. Among all COVID-19 cases, 58% were male with a mean age of 45.5 (+/- 13.2, 19-71) years, and the most frequent comorbidities were hypertension (70.9%) and diabetes (23.6%). Hospitalized patients were older (p = 0.03) and had higher rates of hypertension (p = 0.008), diabetes (p = 0.002), and ischemic heart disease (p = 0.03). Therapeutic management included antimetabolite withdrawal and prednisolone increase in 71%, calcineurin inhibitor withdrawal in 8% and decrease in 58%, hydroxychloroquine in 17%, tocilizumab in 3%, and antivirals in 67% of patients. Acute kidney injury and respiratory failure developed in 34% and 85%, respectively. The mortality rate was 23%. These results emphasized that the COVID-19 infection in renal transplant recipients significantly increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. Therefore, these patients should be intervened earlier and monitored closely to prevent poor outcomes.