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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO2483

COVID-19 in Kidney Transplant Recipients: Experience from a Large Health System in Louisiana

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 1902 Transplantation: Clinical


  • Torres Ortiz, Aldo E., Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Walker, Joseph B., Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Velez, Juan Carlos Q., Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Garces, Jorge C., Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Group or Team Name

  • Ochsner Nephrology

Infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality among kidney transplant recipients. The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected all kinds of populations world-wide. However, the role of immunosuppression in the outcomes of these patients is not well understood.


We conducted a retrospective study in kidney transplant recipients from a single health system that were diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a positive real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA between 03/01/2020 and 04/30/2020. We compared them with affected patients without a kidney transplant and without any kind of immunosuppressive medication (control). We examined the rates of hospitalization, intensive-care unit (ICU) admission, acute kidney injury (AKI) and mortality as outcome measures.


A total of 8473 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 within our Health System within the study period. Thirty-three (0.4%) were kidney transplant recipients. Sixteen of the 33 (48%) were admitted to the hospital (median age of 56, 68% males, 93% African American) vs 2201 admissions (25%) for the control group (median age 66, 48% males, 65% African-American), i.e., a significantly greater risk for hospitalization for transplant recipients (p = 0.002). Percentage of patients with hypertension in the transplant group was numerically higher (93% vs 80%, p = 0.06), as well as the number of ICU admissions (43% vs 28%, p = 0.055). AKI was more common in transplant patients (81% vs 33.8% p<0.0001). No difference in mortality was observed (31 vs 24%, p = 0.34). Among transplant patients, those hospitalized were more likely to be on prednisone (75% vs 35%, p = 0.025) and had a post-transplant graft life of 7.9 years compared to 5.5 years for those not hospitalized, p 0.08).


Kidney transplant recipients affected with COVID-19 exhibited a greater incidence of hospitalization, AKI and a trend for more ICU admissions. Use of immunosuppression with prednisone was associated with greater risk for hospitalization