Background: Previous studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have focused on populations with normal immunity, but lack data on immunocompromised populations.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 pneumonia in kidney transplant recipients.
Design, setting, and participants: A total of 10 renal transplant recipients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia were enrolled in this retrospective study. In addition, 10 of their family members diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia were included in the control group.
Intervention: Immunosuppressant reduction and low-dose methylprednisolone therapy.
Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: The clinical outcomes (the severity of pneumonia, recovery rate, time of virus shedding, and length of illness) were compared with the control group by statistical analysis.
Results and limitations: The clinical symptomatic, laboratory, and radiological characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in the renal transplant recipients were similar to those of severe COVID-19 pneumonia in the general population. The severity of COVID-19 pneumonia was greater in the transplant recipients than in the control group (five severe/three critical cases vs one severe case). Five patients developed transient renal allograft damage. After a longer time of virus shedding (28.4 ± 9.3 vs 12.2 ± 4.6 d in the control group) and a longer course of illness (35.3 ± 8.3 vs 18.8 ± 10.5 d in the control group), nine of the 10 transplant patients recovered successfully after treatment. One patient developed acute renal graft failure and died of progressive respiratory failure.
Conclusions: Kidney transplant recipients had more severe COVID-19 pneumonia than the general population, but most of them recovered after a prolonged clinical course and virus shedding. Findings from this small group of cases may have important implications for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia in immunosuppressed populations.
Patient summary: Immunosuppressed transplant recipients with coronavirus disease 2019 infection had more severe pneumonia, but most of them still achieved a good prognosis after appropriate treatment.
Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019; Immunosuppression; Kidney transplantation; Outcome; Pneumonia.
Copyright © 2020 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.