Early experience with COVID-19 in kidney transplantation recipients: Update and review

Javier González, Gaetano Ciancio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: little is known on the risk factors, clinical presentation, therapeutic protocols, and outcomes of kidney transplantation recipients (KTRs) who become infected by SARS-CoV-2. Purpose: to provide an updated view regarding the early experience obtained from the management of KTRs with COVID-19. Materials and Methods: A narrative review was conducted using PubMed database to identify relevant articles written in English/Spanish, and published through May 15, 2020. Search terms included: "coronavirus", "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2", "SARS-CoV-2", "COVID-19", "COVID", "renal transplantation", and "kidney transplantation". Case series were considered eligible, and case reports excluded. Thirty-four articles were included in the review. Results: KTRs should be considered immunocompromised hosts: potential risk for infection, non-negligible comorbidity, and exposure to long-term immunosuppression. Only single center small retrospective experiences are still available regarding KTRs with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 symptoms in KTRs are similar to that observed for the general population, being fever and cough the most frequently observed. Mild-to-moderate symptomatic KTRs can be managed in an outpatient setting, while patients exhibiting severe symptoms must be addmited to hospital. More rapid clinical progression, and higher complication and death rates have been observed for hospitalized KTRs, requiring hemodyalisis or ventilatory support. Lymphopenia, elevated serum markers (C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, IL-6, D-dimer), and chest-X-ray findings consistent with pneumonia are linked to worse prognosis. A number of antiviral therapies have been used. However, it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions regarding their efficacy at this point. Baseline immunosupression regimen should be adjusted in a case-by-case manner. However, it poses a significant challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Braz J Urol
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • COVID-19 [supplementary concept]
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infections
  • Kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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