Outcome of SARS-CoV2 infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients for autoimmune diseases

J Autoimmun. 2023 Apr:136:103024. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2023.103024. Epub 2023 Mar 2.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients may be at high risk of mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, specific data on COVID-19 after treatment with HSCT in patients affected by autoimmune diseases (ADs) are still lacking. In this multicenter observational study of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), clinical data on COVID-19 in 11 patients affected by severe ADs treated with HSCT (n = 3 allogeneic transplant; n = 8 autologous transplant) are reported. All patients were symptomatic during the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. At screening, 5 patients reported upper respiratory symptoms, 3 patients had cough without oxygen requirement, and 6 patients exhibited extra-pulmonary symptoms. Four cases developed a lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD). Hospitalization was required in 6 cases, without necessity of intensive care unit (ICU) admission and/or ventilation/supplemental oxygen. Different interventions were adopted: remdesivir (n = 1), nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (n = 1), sotrovimab (n = 1), immunoglobulins (n = 1). At last follow-up, all patients are alive and had resolution of the infection. The current analysis describing the mild-moderate course of COVID-19 in transplant recipients affected by ADs, similar to the course observed in ADs under standard treatments, provides useful information to support the delivery of HSCT programs in this field. Vaccination and new treatments available for SARS-CoV-2 may be useful to further minimize the risk of infection.

Keywords: Autoimmune diseases; COVID-19; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant; SARS-CoV-2; Survival.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / therapy
  • COVID-19*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Transplant Recipients


  • RNA, Viral