Solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients may be more vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Data on the clinical course of COVID-19 in immunosuppressed patients are limited, and the optimal management strategy for these patients is yet unclear.
We present 53 SOT recipients (31 kidney transplant recipients, 8 liver transplant recipients, 5 heart transplant recipients, 5 lung transplant recipients, 3 liver-kidney transplant recipients, and 1 kidney-after-heart transplant recipient), transplanted at a Swedish high-volume transplant center and each diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 21, 2020 and June 22, 2020. Demographic, clinical, and treatment data were extracted from the electronic patient files.
Patients reported fever (61%), cough (43%), diarrhea (31%), and upper respiratory symptoms (29%). The median age was 56 years, and 57% were male. According to severity, 55% had mild, 13% had moderate, 19% had severe, and 13% had critical disease. Thirty-seven patients (70%) were hospitalized, with 8 requiring intensive care. Thirteen of the 37 patients were initially managed as outpatients but later hospitalized. One patient received hydroxychloroquine, and no patients received antivirals. Antimetabolites and calcineurin inhibitors were held or reduced in two-thirds. Twenty-seven of 37 hospitalized patients (73%) received low-molecular-weight heparin. Five (13.5%) hospitalized patients died. Overall survival for the entire cohort was 90.5%. No rejection episodes were noted.
Hospitalization, lowering of immunosuppression, and prophylactic anticoagulation were the most common therapeutic interventions for SOT recipients with COVID-19. A significant proportion of patients could be managed on an outpatient basis, while keeping a low threshold for admission. Mild and moderate disease forms seem to have a good outcome.