Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVD-19) emerged as a pandemic in December 2019. Infection has spread quickly and renal transplant recipients receiving chronic immunosuppression have been considered a population at high risk of infection, complications and infection-related death. During this year a large amount of information from nationwide registries, multicentre and single-centre studies have been reported. The number of renal transplant patients diagnosed with COVID-19 was higher than in the general population, but the lower threshold for testing may have contributed to its better identification. Major complications such as acute kidney injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome were very frequent in renal transplant patients, with a high comorbidity burden, but further studies are needed to support that organ transplant recipients receiving chronic immunosuppression are more prone to develop these complications than the general population. Kidney transplant recipients experience a high mortality rate compared with the general population, especially during the very early post-transplant period. Despite the fact that some studies report more favourable outcomes in patients with a kidney transplant than in patients on the kidney waiting list, the higher mortality described in the very early post-transplant period would advise against performing a kidney transplant in areas where the spread of infection is high, especially in recipients >60 years of age. Management of transplant recipients has been challenging for clinicians and strategies such as less use of lymphocyte-depleting agents for new transplants or anti-metabolite withdrawal and calcineurin inhibitor reduction for transplant patients with COVID-19 are not based on high-quality evidence.
Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; 2019-nCoV; Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Renal transplantation
Toapanta N, Torres IB, Sellarés J, Chamoun B, Serón D, Moreso F. Kidney transplantation and COVID-19 renal and patient prognosis. Clin Kidney J. 2021 Mar;14(Suppl 1):i21–9.
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