Background: There are limited data on Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in solid organ transplant patients and especially in heart transplant recipients with only few case reports and case series described so far. Heart transplant recipients may be at particular high risk due to their comorbidities and immunosuppressed state.
Case presentation: This report describes the clinical course and the challenging management of early COVID-19 infection in two heart transplants recipients who were tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the perioperative period of the transplant procedure. The two patients developed a severe form of the disease, and ultimately died despite the initiation of an antiviral monotherapy with hydroxychloroquine coupled with the interruption of mycophenolate mofetil.
Conclusions: These two cases illustrate the severity and the poor prognosis of COVID-19 in the perioperative period of a heart transplant. Thorough screening of donors and recipients is mandatory and the issue of asymptomatic carrier need to be addressed.