Early Experiences With COVID-19 Testing in Transplantation

Brian J. Boyarsky, Allan B. Massie, Arthur D. Love, William A. Werbel, Christine M. Durand, Robin K. Avery, Kyle R. Jackson, Amber B. Kernodle, Alvin G. Thomas, Matthew Ronin, Michelle Altrich, Patricia Niles, Chad Trahan, Jonathan Hewlett, Dorry L. Segev, Jacqueline M. Garonzik-Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background. The early effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on transplantation are dramatic: >75% of kidney and liver programs are either suspended or operating under major restrictions. To resume transplantation, it is important to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 among transplant recipients, donors, and healthcare workers (HCWs) and its associated mortality. Methods. To investigate this, we studied severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 diagnostic test results among patients with end-stage renal disease or kidney transplants from the Johns Hopkins Health System (n = 235), and screening test results from deceased donors from the Southwest Transplant Alliance Organ Procurement Organization (n = 27), and donors, candidates, and HCWs from the National Kidney Registry and Viracor-Eurofins (n = 253) between February 23 and April 15, 2020. Results. We found low rates of COVID-19 among donors and HCWs (0%-1%) who were screened, higher rates of diagnostic tests among patients with end-stage renal disease or kidney transplant (17%-20%), and considerable mortality (7%-13%) among those who tested positive. Conclusions. These findings suggest the threat of COVID-19 for the transplant population is significant and ongoing data collection and reporting is critical to inform transplant practices during and after the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E572
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 11 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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