Transplant Library

COVID-19 Publications

The Transplant Library provides a comprehensive overview of free COVID-19 information relevant for transplantation professionals.
1,581 results
  • Yazıcıoğlu B
  • Bakkaloğlu SA
  • European Society for Pediatric Nephrology
  • Yazicioglu B
  • Bakkaloglu SA
Pediatr Nephrol. 2022 Aug;37(8):1867-1875 doi: 10.1007/s00467-021-05226-1.

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has been challenging for patients and medical staff. Radical changes have been needed to prevent disruptions in patient care and medical education.


A web-based survey was sent to European Society for Pediatric Nephrology (ESPN) members via the ESPN mailing list to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on delivery of pediatric nephrology (PN) care and educational activities. There were ten questions with subheadings.


Seventy-six centers from 24 countries completed the survey. The time period was between the beginning of the pandemic and May 30, 2020. The number of patients admitted in PN wards and outpatient clinics were significantly decreased (2.2 and 4.5 times, respectively). Telemedicine tools, electronic prescriptions, online applications for off-label drugs, and remote access to laboratory/imaging results were used in almost half of the centers. Despite staff training and protective measures, 33% of centers reported COVID-19 infected staff, and 29% infected patients. Difficulties in receiving pharmaceuticals were reported in 25% of centers. Sixty percent of centers suspended living-related kidney transplantation, and one-third deceased-donor kidney transplantation. Hands-on education was suspended in 91% of medical schools, and face-to-face teaching was replaced by online systems in 85%. Multidisciplinary training in PN was affected in 54% of the centers.


This survey showed a sharp decline in patient admissions and a significant decrease in kidney transplantation. Telemedicine and online teaching became essential tools, requiring integration into the current system. The prolonged and fluctuating course of the pandemic may pose additional challenges necessitating urgent and rational solutions.

  • Kolonko A
  • Kuczaj AA
  • Musialik J
  • Słabiak-Błaż N
  • Hrapkowicz T
  • et al.
Pol Arch Intern Med. 2022 Nov 28;132(2) doi: 10.20452/pamw.16139.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected patients who have undergone solid organ transplantation (SOT).


We aimed to assess a cohort of transplant recipients who developed COVID‑19, with a focus on immunosuppressive regimen, blood tacrolimus levels, clinical course, and patient and graft outcomes.


During the first 12 months of the pandemic, we identified ambulatory SOT recipients, including kidney, liver, and heart transplant recipients, diagnosed with SARS‑CoV‑2 infection. Baseline and follow‑up data on graft function, immunosuppression, and patient and graft outcomes were assessed.


Of the 2091 ambulatory patients, we identified 201 transplant recipients (9.6%) with SARS‑CoV‑2 infection (kidney transplant, n = 112; heart transplant, n = 56; liver transplant, n = 33). Patients after recent kidney (during 2015-2020) or heart (during 2020) transplant were significantly more often diagnosed with COVID ‑19 than patients with a longer time since transplant. Additionally, blood trough tacrolimus levels measured during or shortly after COVID‑19 in 23 kidney graft recipients were significantly increased by a median of 76.1% (interquartile range, 47.4%-109.4%) relative to predose trough levels. However, liver function parameters were not elevated, necessitating a tacrolimus dose reduction in 73.9% of the patients.


In our study, kidney transplant recipients showed significant disturbances of tacrolimus metabolism, which may account for kidney function worsening during COVID‑19. Moreover, infection was more common in patients with recent kidney or heart transplant, which suggests that the level of immunosuppression may affect morbidity related to SARS‑CoV‑2 infection.

  • Kulkarni S
  • Flescher A
  • Ahmad M
  • Bayliss G
  • Bearl D
  • et al.
J Med Ethics. 2023 Jun;49(6):389-392 doi: 10.1136/medethics-2021-107574.

The transplant community has faced unprecedented challenges balancing risks of performing living donor transplants during the COVID-19 pandemic with harms of temporarily suspending these procedures. Decisions regarding postponement of living donation stem from its designation as an elective procedure, this despite that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services categorise transplant procedures as tier 3b (high medical urgency-do not postpone). In times of severe resource constraints, health systems may be operating under crisis or contingency standards of care. In this manuscript, the United Network for Organ Sharing Ethics Workgroup explores prioritisation of living donation where health systems operate under contingency standards of care and provide a framework with recommendations to the transplant community on how to approach living donation in these circumstances.To guide the transplant community in future decisions, this analysis suggests that: (1) living donor transplants represent an important option for individuals with end-stage liver and kidney disease and should not be suspended uniformly under contingency standards, (2) exposure risk to SARS-CoV-2 should be balanced with other risks, such as exposure risks at dialysis centres. Because many of these risks are not quantifiable, donors and recipients should be included in discussions on what constitutes acceptable risk, (3) transplant hospitals should strive to maintain a critical transplant workforce and avoid diverting expertise, which could negatively impact patient preparedness for transplant, (4) transplant hospitals should consider implementing protocols to ensure early detection of SARS-CoV-2 infections and discuss these measures with donors and recipients in a process of shared decision-making.

  • Yadav A
  • Caldararo K
  • Singh P
J Telemed Telecare. 2022 Aug;28(7):530-532 doi: 10.1177/1357633X20942632.
  • Mulder MB
  • van der Eijk AA
  • GeurtsvanKessel CH
  • Erler NS
  • de Winter BCM
  • et al.
Gut. 2022 Dec;71(12):2605-2608 doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-326755.
  • Guarino M
  • Esposito I
  • Portella G
  • Cossiga V
  • Loperto I
  • et al.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Jul;20(7):1534-1541.e4 doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2022.01.012.

In the context of the Italian severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination program, liver transplant (LT) recipients were prioritized for vaccine administration, although the lower response to vaccines is a well-known problem in this population. We aimed to evaluate immunogenicity of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in LT recipients and healthy controls and to identify factors associated with negative response to vaccine.


In a cohort of adult patients with LT, we prospectively evaluated the humoral response (with anti-Spike protein IgG-LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2-IgG chemiluminescent assay) at 1 and 3 months after 2-dose vaccination. A group of 307 vaccinated health care workers, matched by age and sex, served as controls.


Overall, 492 LT patients were enrolled (75.41% male; median age, 64.85 years). Detectable antibodies were observed in the 75% of patients, with a median value of 73.9 AU/mL after 3 months from 2-dose vaccination. At multivariable analysis, older age (>40 years; P = .016), shorter time from liver transplantation (<5 years; P = .004), and immunosuppression with antimetabolites (P = .029) were significantly associated with non-response to vaccination. Moreover, the LT recipients showed antibody titers statistically lower than the control group (103 vs 261 AU/mL; P < .0001). Finally, in both controls and LT patients, we found a trend of inverse correlation between age and antibody titers (correlation coefficients: -0.2023 and -0.2345, respectively).


Three months after vaccination, LT recipients showed humoral response in 75% of cases. Older age, shorter time from transplantation, and use of antimetabolites were factors associated with non-response to vaccination, and LT recipients at risk of non-response to vaccination needed to be kept under close monitoring.

  • Cuadrado A
  • Gaite LM
  • Odriozola A
  • Oloriz R
  • Herrera S
  • et al.
Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2022 Aug;114(8):448-454 doi: 10.17235/reed.2021.8173/2021.

the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown on liver transplant (LT) patients remains unknown. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical and mental health of LT patients during the lockdown period.


a web-based questionnaire was emailed to 238 LT patients undergoing regular follow-up at our unit between August and October 2020. This pseudonymized survey explored demographic and lifestyle variables (i.e., eating and physical habits), disruptions in routine medical care, different dimensions of mental health, COVID-19-related mood and coping (worries/anxiety, depression, insomnia, fear of COVID, resilience, etc.) and health perception using different validated instruments.


altogether, 48.7 % (116 of 238) LT recipients accepted to participate in the study, 104 of whom gave their consent to publish the data. The median age was 63 years. Up to 39.4 % presented worrying scores indicating moderate/severe generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), whereas 25.5 % exhibited moderate/severe insomnia and only 10.5 % moderate/severe depression. Forty patients (38.5 %) gained weight, 24 % experienced a worsening in their eating habits and 63.4 % referred to practicing less or much less exercise during the lockdown. Only 25 % perceived a worsening in the control of their chronic comorbidities. Missed medical appointments (0.9 %) or poor adherence to therapy (1.9 %) were exceptional.


COVID-19 lockdown has negatively impacted the mental and physical health of LT patients. Long-term consequences remain unclear.

  • Peled Y
  • Ram E
  • Mandelboim M
  • Lavee J
  • Sternik L
  • et al.
Am J Transplant. 2022 Jul;22(7):1931-1932 doi: 10.1111/ajt.16998.
  • Quiroga B
  • Soler MJ
  • Ortiz A
  • Martínez Vaquera S
  • Jarava Mantecón CJ
  • et al.
Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2022 Sep 22;37(10):1868-1878 doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfab313.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are at high-risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The multicentric, observational and prospective SENCOVAC study aims to describe the humoral response and safety of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines in CKD patients. Safety and immediate humoral response results are reported here.


Four cohorts of patients were included: kidney transplant (KT) recipients, and haemodialysis (HD), peritoneal dialysis (PD) and non-dialysis CKD patients from 50 Spanish centres. Adverse events after vaccine doses were recorded. At baseline and on Day 28 after the last vaccine dose, anti-Spike antibodies were measured and compared between cohorts. Factors associated with development of anti-Spike antibodies were analysed.


A total of 1746 participants were recruited: 1116 HD, 171 PD, 176 non-dialysis CKD patients and 283 KT recipients. Most patients (98%) received mRNA vaccines. At least one vaccine reaction developed after the first dose in 763 (53.5%) and after the second dose in 741 (54.5%) of patients. Anti-Spike antibodies were measured in the first 301 patients. At 28 days, 95% of patients had developed antibodies: 79% of KT, 98% of HD, 99% of PD and 100% of non-dialysis CKD patients (P < 0.001). In a multivariate adjusted analysis, absence of an antibody response was independently associated with KT (odds ratio 20.56, P = 0.001) and with BNT162b2 vaccine (odds ratio 6.03, P = 0.023).


The rate of anti-Spike antibody development after vaccination in KT patients was low but in other CKD patients it approached 100%, suggesting that KT patients require persistent isolation measures and booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Potential differences between COVID-19 vaccines should be explored in prospective controlled studies.

  • Sahin MF
  • Beyoglu MA
  • Turkkan S
  • Tezer Tekce Y
  • Yazicioglu A
  • et al.
Exp Clin Transplant. 2022 Sep;20(9):842-848 doi: 10.6002/ect.2020.0567.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which emerged in late 2019, adversely affected all solid-organ transplant processes. Here we share the donor presentations evaluated in a lung transplant center during the COVID-19 pandemic,the measures taken at every stage of transplant management, and the outcomes of our transplants.


Data from 15 lung donors selected by the national coordination center presented to our lung transplant center as of March 11, 2020, when the first COVID-19 case was reported in Turkey, and data of 5 lung transplant cases in this period were retrospectively analyzed. All donors were examined in detail for COVID-19 disease. Procurement processes for accepted donors,transplant surgeries of recipients, and postoperative follow-up and care processes of recipients were carried out with the least number of personnel, but all with appropriate personal protective equipment.


There were 15 donor organs procured by our center during a 9-month period coincident with the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of donor presentations to our center between the same dates in the previous year was 78. Five of the 15 donors were accepted, and of those accepted, 4 were male and 1 was female. There was no statistically significant difference between the accepted and rejected donors in terms of the ratio of Pao2 to fraction of inspired oxygen, age, duration of endotracheal intubation (days), and smoking (pack-years). All SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests performed on bronchoalveolar lavage samples and nasopharyngeal, conjunctival, and rectal samples collected from the recipients during the follow-up period were negative. No pathological finding suggestive of COVID-19 infection was noted in the radiological evaluations.


Lung transplant can be successfully managed during the COVID-19 pandemic period, despite the high risk of infection.The major obstacle to the continuity of lung transplantin this period was the limited number of donors.