COVID-19 in Lung Transplant Recipients

Transplantation. 2021 Jan 1;105(1):177-186. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003508.


Background: A concern about the susceptibility of immunocompromised patients to the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been raised. We aimed at describing COVID-19 infections in the French cohort of lung transplant (LT) patients.

Methods: Multicenter nationwide cohort study of all LT recipients with COVID-19 diagnosed from March 1 to May 19, 2020. Recipient main characteristics and their management were retrieved. Hospitalization characteristics, occurrence of complications and survival were analyzed.

Results: Thirty-five LT patients with a COVID-19 infection were included. Median age was 50.4 (40.6-62.9) years, 16 (45.7%) were female, and 80% were double-LT recipients. Infection was community-acquired in 25 (71.4%). Thirty-one (88.6%) required hospitalization, including 13 (41.9%) in the intensive care unit. The main symptoms of COVID-19 were fever, cough, and diarrhea, present in 71.4%, 54.3%, and 31.4% of cases, respectively. Extension of pneumonia on chest CT was moderate to severe in 51.4% of cases. Among the 13 critically ill patients, 7 (53.9%) received invasive mechanical ventilation. Thrombotic events occurred in 4 patients. Overall survival rate was 85.7% after a median follow-up of 50 days (41.0-56.5). Four of 5 nonsurvivors had had bronchial complications or intensification of immunosuppression in the previous weeks. On univariate analysis, overweight was significantly associated with risk of death (odds ratio, 16.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-170.6; P = 0.02).

Conclusions: For the 35 LT recipients with COVID-19, the presentation was severe, requiring hospitalization in most cases, with a survival rate of 85.7%.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Transplant Recipients


  • Immunosuppressive Agents