Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Lung Transplant Recipients: A Single Center Experience

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Heart Lung Transplant


Purpose: Outcomes of Covid-19 in lung transplant recipients (LTr) were reported in the beginning of the pandemic. Only few centers reported on their experience since December 2020 when vaccines received emergency use authorization. We aim to investigate the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a cohort of LTr at our center in Detroit, Michigan.

Methods: Retrospective chart review study of adult LTr with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from March 2020 to August 2021.

Results: Thirty LTr were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT PCR of nasopharynx. Median age at diagnosis was 63; 53% were males; 57% Caucasians and 40% of African descendance. Most patients underwent bilateral LT for interstitial lung disease (46%) and for pulmonary sarcoidosis (23%). The median time post LT was 3.1 years. Most patients needed hospitalization for respiratory failure secondary to Covid-19 (73%). Eleven patients were initially managed as outpatient. Five patients received outpatient combination of monoclonal antibodies with three of them later requiring hospitalization for development of hypoxia. None of the patients with initial out of the hospital management died. Amongst 21 hospitalized LTr, six patients were diagnosed with severe pneumonia and ARDS requiring heated high flow and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) in 4 patients. 28-day mortality was 10% and ICU mortality was 25% (50% mortality in those on IMV). Twelve hospitalized patients (57%) were treated with remdesivir. Augmented systemic corticosteroids was used in 85% of cases. Cycle cell inhibitor was held in 71% of the cases. Bilateral ground glass opacities of the allografts were common. None of the patients that received at least one dose of mRNA vaccine died.

Conclusion: Outcomes in LTr infected with SARS-CoV-2 varies. Early reports showed high mortality rate in severe and critical Covid-19 in LTr. Although hospitalization rate in this cohort was high, only four patients in our cohort required IMV during acute Covid-19. Two of them died; both were unvaccinated. Another unvaccinated patient died due to allograft rejection two months after testing positive to SARS-CoV-2. Most cases were mild to moderate despite frequent radiographic findings of pneumonia. Underreporting and exclusion of mild cases as well as likely protective effect of vaccination and use of monoclonal antibodies may explain our different outcomes.

PubMed ID

Not assigned.





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