Early impact of COVID-19 on transplant center practices and policies in the United States

Brian J. Boyarsky, Teresa Po-Yu Chiang, William A. Werbel, Christine M. Durand, Robin K. Avery, Samantha N. Getsin, Kyle R. Jackson, Amber B. Kernodle, Sarah E. Van Pilsum Rasmussen, Allan B. Massie, Dorry L. Segev, Jacqueline M. Garonzik-Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


COVID-19 is a novel, rapidly changing pandemic: consequently, evidence-based recommendations in solid organ transplantation (SOT) remain challenging and unclear. To understand the impact on transplant activity across the United States, and center-level variation in testing, clinical practice, and policies, we conducted a national survey between March 24, 2020 and March 31, 2020 and linked responses to the COVID-19 incidence map. Response rate was a very high 79.3%, reflecting a strong national priority to better understand COVID-19. Complete suspension of live donor kidney transplantation was reported by 71.8% and live donor liver by 67.7%. While complete suspension of deceased donor transplantation was less frequent, some restrictions to deceased donor kidney transplantation were reported by 84.0% and deceased donor liver by 73.3%; more stringent restrictions were associated with higher regional incidence of COVID-19. Shortage of COVID-19 tests was reported by 42.5%. Respondents reported a total of 148 COVID-19 recipients from <1 to >10 years posttransplant: 69.6% were kidney recipients, and 25.0% were critically ill. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was used by 78.1% of respondents; azithromycin by 46.9%; tocilizumab by 31.3%, and remdesivir by 25.0%. There is wide heterogeneity in center-level response across the United States; ongoing national data collection, expert discussion, and clinical studies are critical to informing evidence-based practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1818
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • clinical decision-making
  • epidemiology
  • guidelines
  • infectious agents—viral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Early impact of COVID-19 on transplant center practices and policies in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this