Routine Biomarkers for the Severity of COVID-19 Pneumonia May Present Differently in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Transplant Proc. 2021 Oct;53(8):2476-2480. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2021.08.020. Epub 2021 Aug 14.


Background: The treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is based on the patient's clinical status and levels of inflammatory biomarkers. The comparative activity of these biomarkers in kidney transplant (KT) patients with COVID-19 pneumonia from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and non-SARS-CoV-2 etiologies is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical presentation and inflammatory parameters at admission of KT patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and those with non-COVID-19 pneumonia over the same period.

Methods: Biomarkers were measured and compared between KT patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 57) and non-COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 20) from March 2020 to March 2021.

Results: Both groups showed comparable demographics. The KT patients with COVID-19 had fewer neutrophils (6824 ± 5000 vs 8969 ± 4206; P = .09) than the non-COVID group, although there was no significant difference in the lymphocyte count. Non-COVID-19 pneumonia was associated with higher d-dimer (median, 921 [interquartile range (IQR), 495-1680] vs median, 2215 [IQR, 879-3934]; P = 0.09) and interleukin-6 (median, 35 [IQR, 20-128] vs median, 222 [IQR, 38-500]; P = 0.006) levels. The ferritin level was higher in the COVID-19 group (median, 809 [IQR, 442-1,330] vs median, 377 [IQR, 276-885]; P = 0.008). In multivariable analysis, only d-dimer (hazard ratio [HR], 1; 95% confidence interval [CI],1-1.002; P = .02) and ferritin (HR, 1; 95% CI, 0.9-0.9; P = .02) increase the statistic signification.

Conclusion: COVID-19 pneumonia in KT patients shows a different presentation of inflammatory biomarkers than other non-COVID pneumonias. It could be useful to identify KT patients with COVID-19. More detailed studies are necessary to understand the presentation of biomarkers in KT with COVID-19.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis*


  • Biomarkers