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COVID-19 in solid organ transplantation patients: A systematic review.

  • Nacif, Lucas Souto1
  • Zanini, Leonardo Y1
  • Waisberg, Daniel R1
  • Pinheiro, Rafael S1
  • Galvão, Flávio1
  • Andraus, Wellington1
  • D'Albuquerque, Luiz Carneiro1
  • 1 Divisao de Transplante de Figado e Orgaos do Aparelho Digestivo, Departamento de Gastroenterologia, Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR.
Published Article
Clinics (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.6061/clinics/2020/e1983
PMID: 32520225


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapidly progresses to severe acute respiratory syndrome. This review aimed at collating available data on COVID-19 infection in solid organ transplantation (SOT) patients. We performed a systematic review of SOT patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The MEDLINE and PubMed databases were electronically searched and updated until April 20, 2020. The MeSH terms used were "COVID-19" AND "Transplant." Thirty-nine COVID-19 cases were reported among SOT patients. The median interval for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection was 4 years since transplantation, and the fatality rate was 25.64% (10/39). Sixteen cases were described in liver transplant (LT) patients, and the median interval since transplantation was 5 years. The fatality rate among LT patients was 37.5% (6/16), with death occurring more than 3 years after LT. The youngest patient who died was 59 years old; there were no deaths among children. Twenty-three cases were described in kidney transplant (KT) patients. The median interval since transplantation was 4 years, and the fatality rate was 17.4% (4/23). The youngest patient who died was 71 years old. Among all transplant patients, COVID-19 had the highest fatality rate in patients older than 60 years : LT, 62.5% vs 12.5% (p=0.006); KT 44.44% vs 0 (p=0.039); and SOT, 52.94% vs 4.54% (p=0.001). This study presents a novel description of COVID-19 in abdominal SOT recipients. Furthermore, we alert medical professionals to the higher fatality risk in patients older than 60 years. (PROSPERO, registration number=CRD42020181299).

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