Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the authors’ final published version in Transplantation Proceedings, Volume 53, Issue 4, May 2021, Pages 1227-1236.

The published version is available at Copyright © Arya et al.


BACKGROUND: Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are a complex, immunocompromised population in whom greater coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality has been reported compared with the general population.

METHODS: We examined a retrospective cohort of 58 SOT recipients with first-wave COVID-19, comparing patients with severe and nonsevere illness. Additionally, SOT recipients are compared with general patients with first-wave COVID-19.

RESULTS: Organs transplanted included 38 kidneys, 8 livers, 5 hearts, and 3 pancreases. Average SOT recipient age was 57.4 years; 62% were male; 46.6% were African American 36.2% were white. Comorbidities included hypertension (86%), chronic kidney disease (86%), diabetes mellitus (50%), coronary artery disease (26%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (14%). Twenty patients had severe COVID-19 (34.5%) and 38 had nonsevere disease (65.5%). Severe disease was more common in older SOT recipients with comorbidities and was associated with cough, dyspnea, pneumonia, C-reactive protein >10 mg/L, and platelet count <150/μL. Sex, race, body mass index, time from transplant, baseline immunosuppression, and diagnosis month did not differ among those with severe and nonsevere COVID-19. Seventy percent of SOT recipients were hospitalized vs 27.2% of general patients with COVID-19 and inpatient SOT recipients had a higher mechanical ventilation rate. Though a trend toward longer length of stay, higher intensive care unit admission, and greater inpatient mortality was observed (19.5% vs 14.8%), these differences were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has greatly impacted SOT recipients. One-third of our SOT recipients seen during the first wave had severe illness with associated standard risk factors for poor outcome. Compared with general first-wave patients, more SOT recipients were hospitalized, although inpatient COVID-19 mortality did not significantly differ.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

PubMed ID