Kidney transplant recipient (KTR) mortality from infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, declined over the course of the pandemic, investigators reported during the virtual 2021 American Transplant Congress.

Based on their study of 158 KTRs who tested positive for the novel coronavirus from March 16 to November 30, 2020, Yorg Al Azzi, MD, and collaborators at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City found that the death rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased from 40% during March 16-31 to 39%, 29%, and 9% during April 1-15, April 16-30, and May 1 to November 30, respectively. In all, 50 patients (31.6%) died as of November 30, 2020.

Of the 158 patients, 59.5% were male, 54.4% were Hispanic, 29.7% were Black, and 75.3% received a deceased-donor kidney. A total of 127 patients were admitted to the hospital.

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The vast majority of patients were on triple immunosuppression (94.3% on calcineurin inhibitors, 86.7% on an anti-metabolite, and 96.7% on prednisone), and 57% received anti-thymocyte globulin induction. Of the 158 patients, 96.2% had hypertension, 62.7% had diabetes mellitus, 19.6% had heart disease, and 8.9% had lung disease, Dr Azzi’s team reported.


Azzi YA, Pynadath C, Loarte P, et al. Variation of mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection in kidney transplant recipients over the course of the pandemic. Presented at: ATC 2021 virtual meeting held June 4 to 9, 2021. Abstract 774.