Kidney transplantation using lymphocyte depleting induction and standard maintenance immunosuppression at the height of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in New York City: A single-center experience

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Clin Transplant. 2020 Sep;34(9):e14055. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14055. Epub 2020 Aug 18.


BACKGROUND: Concerns have been raised regarding proceeding with kidney transplantation using standard immunosuppression in COVID-19 endemic areas.

METHODS: We performed a single-center review of all adult kidney transplants performed during the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Patients were managed with standard immunosuppression protocols, including lymphocyte depleting induction and trough-guided tacrolimus. Retrospective data were collected for 3 months from the date of transplantation or until study conclusion (5/7/2020). The primary outcomes assessed included patient and allograft survival as well as COVID-19 related hospital readmission.

RESULTS: 30 kidney transplants were performed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a median follow-up of 51.5 days, 93.3% of patients were alive with 100% death-censored allograft survival. 9 patients were readmitted to the hospital during the study period, 4 (13.3%) related to infection with COVID-19. Infections were mild in 3/4 patients, with one patient developing severe disease leading to respiratory failure. Patients readmitted with COVID-19 were numerically more likely to be African American, have a BMI > 30 kg/m2, have a lymphocyte count ≤ 300 cells/mL, and be on maintenance corticosteroids.

CONCLUSIONS: Kidney transplantation in areas endemic to COVID-19 using standard induction and maintenance immunosuppression appears to be associated with a modest risk for severe COVID-19 related disease.

PMID:33439508 | DOI:10.1111/ctr.14055