Outpatient COVID-19 Surveillance Testing in Orthotopic Heart Transplant Recipients

Clin Transplant. 2020 Sep 25:e14105. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14105. Online ahead of print.


COVID-19 case fatality rate in the United States is currently reported at 4.8% based on the confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, there are conflicting reports of estimated deaths in the post cardiac transplantation patient population associated with COVID-19.

METHODS: Observational, retrospective analysis of a large cohort of post OHT patients in a high volume heart transplantation program in Dallas, Texas that underwent outpatient COVID-19 screening and testing for both SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal RT-PCR and anti-SARS-CoV2 IgG serology as a result of a clinic protocol to facilitate re-opening of face-to-face outpatient clinical visits.

RESULTS: The full outpatient cohort tested at time of their clinic visit tested negative for COVID-19 by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Only 2 patients tested seropositive for anti-SARS-COV2 IgG. Five positive inpatient cases were also identified and all, but one has recovered.

CONCLUSION: A COVID-19 surveillance protocol can be easily instituted in this high-risk population and facilitate safe transplant clinic operation. As the cases and prevalence increase across the United States, further strategies will need to be developed to determine the best course of action to help manage this select population while minimizing their exposure to the ongoing pandemic.

PMID:32978777 | DOI:10.1111/ctr.14105