Informing the Risk of Kidney Transplantation Versus Remaining on the Waitlist in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Era


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5 Scopus citations


Introduction: There are limited data pertaining to comparative outcomes of remaining on dialysis versus kidney transplantation as the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains. In this study we delineate the differential risks involved using serologic methods to help define exposure rates. Methods: From a cohort of 1433 patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), we analyzed COVID-19 infection rates and outcomes in 299 waitlist patients compared with 237 transplant recipients within their first year post-transplant. Patients were followed over a 68-day period from the time our transplant program closed due to COVID-19. Results: The overall mortality rates in waitlist and transplant populations were equivalent (P = 0.69). However, COVID-19 infection was more commonly diagnosed in the waitlist patients (P = 0.001), who were more likely to be tested by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (P = 0.0004). Once infection was confirmed, mortality risk was higher in the transplant patients (P = 0.015). The seroprevalence in dialysis and transplant patients with undetected infection was 18.3% and 4.6%, respectively (P = 0.0001). After adjusting for potential screening bias, the relative risk of death after a diagnosis of COVID-19 remained higher in transplant recipients (hazard ratio = 3.36 [95% confidence interval = 1.19–9.50], P = 0.022). Conclusions: Although COVID-19 infection was more common in the waitlist patients, a higher COVID-19‒associated mortality rate was seen in the transplant recipients, resulting in comparable overall mortality rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • dialysis
  • immunosuppression
  • kidney transplantation
  • outcomes
  • transplant waitlist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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