The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although immunosuppressed individuals are thought to be at an increased risk of severe disease, little is known about their clinical presentation, disease course, or outcomes.
METHODS: We report 15 kidney transplant recipients from the Columbia University kidney transplant program who required hospitalization for confirmed COVID-19, and describe their management, clinical course, and outcomes.
RESULTS: Patients presented most often with a fever (87%) and/or cough (67%). Initial chest x-ray most commonly showed bilateral infiltrates, but 33% had no acute radiographic findings. Patients were managed with immunosuppression reduction and the addition of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Although 27% of our patients needed mechanical ventilation, over half were discharged home by the end of follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19 have presentations that are similar to that of the general population. Our current treatment protocol appears to be associated with favorable outcomes, but longer follow-up of a larger cohort of patients is needed.