COVID-19 infection in former living kidney donors

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Clinical transplantation


The COVID-19 pandemic brought living donor kidney transplant programs across the United States to a near halt in March 2020. As programs have begun to reopen, potential donor candidates often inquire about their risk of a COVID-19 infection and its potential impact on kidney function after donation. To address their concerns, we surveyed 1740 former live kidney donors at four transplant centers located in New York and Michigan. Of these, 839 (48.2%) donors responded, their mean age was 46 ± 12.5 years, 543 (65%) were females, and 611 (73%) were white. Ninety-two donors (11%) had symptoms suggestive of a COVID-19 infection with fever (48%) and fatigue (43%) being the most common. Among those with symptoms, 42 donors underwent testing and 16 tested positive. Testing was more common among donors with private insurance, and a positive test result was more common among young black donors. Only one donor surveyed required hospitalization and none required dialysis. Fourteen donors have recovered completely and two partially. Our survey highlights that a COVID-19 infection in former donors results in a mild disease with good recovery. These data will be useful for transplant programs to counsel living donors who are considering kidney donation during this pandemic.

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ePub ahead of print