Kidney transplantation from Covid-19 positive deceased donor: what are the consequences for recipients?

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Introduction. In recent months, with the spread of COVID 19, the number of kidney transplants from deceased donors has declined significantly in most countries. One of the reasons is the possibility of infection of the recipient with SARS-CoV-2. Determining the risk of transmission of COVID 19 with a donor organ is very important for developing a kidney transplantation policy during a pandemic. Material and method. We present cases of kidney transplantation from COVID 19 positive deceased donor to two dialysis patients in single center. Deceased donor: a 45 years old man with diabetes, who had a major hemorrhagic stroke resulting in brain death. He had normal urine output and serum creatinine level for last 24 hours before kidney harvesting. For a few hours after organ harvesting, the donor was diagnosed COVID 19 (retrospective nasopharyngeal swab rRT-PCR which was confirmed by morphological examination and RNA-PCR of specimens from the trachea and bronchus). Recipient 1: a 49 years old man with polycystic kidney disease had been on hemodialysis for 28 months. He was in urgent list because of problems with vascular access. So non identical ABO (0-donor, B-recipient) kidney transplantation from this deceased donor was done in May 2020. Recipient 2: a 45 years old man with polycystic kidney disease on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). Не was registered on urgent waiting list because of low transport capacity of peritoneum. Kidney transplantation from the same deceased donor was done at the same time. In both cases we completely abandoned any antilymphocytic agents for induction, despite non ABO identical transplantation in one of the recipients and the delayed graft function. Both patients received only basic immunosuppression, including tacrolimus, methylprednisolone and a mycophenolic acid. Results. In first case cold ischemia time was 22 hours. The recipient had delayed graft function with increasing of urine output on day 8 post-transplant. No other deviations from the usual course were seen during hospital stay. The patient was discharge from hospital with serum creatinine level 122 mkmol/L. The cold ischemia time was 21 hours in another patient. Graft function was immediate with a decrease serum creatinine to 92.5 mkmol/L at discharge. Both patients had no febrile and no other symptoms of acute respiratory disease during all hospital stay. No abnormalities on chest X-ray were seen. No serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG were detected before and during 6 weeks after surgery. Repeated nasopharyngeal swabs rRT-PCR were negative during all the period. Both recipients were discharged for 5 weeks after surgery to prevent out-of-hospital contamination of COVID 19, which would be difficult to differentiate from transmission infection. After 9 months both patients are doing well with no clinical or laboratory signs of COVID-19. Conclusion. Today we have no evidence of the possibility of transmission of COVID-19 from a SARS-Cov-2 positive donor to a kidney recipient. We also have no reason to suspect kidney damage by COVID-19 in a deceased donor at normal serum creatinine level. Avoiding the use of anti-lymphocyte drugs for induction of immunosuppression may also reduce the risk of developing COVID19 after transplantation. A careful collection and analysis of such dates is necessary to develop modern practical recommendations for transplant centers.

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About the authors

D. V Perlin

Wolgograd Regional Center of Urology and Nephrology

M.D., Full Professor, Chief Physician Volzhsky, Russia

I. V Alexandrov

Wolgograd Regional Center of Urology and Nephrology

M.D., Ph.D. doctoral candidate (M), Deputy Chief Physician Volzhsky, Russia

A. O Shmanev

Wolgograd Regional Center of Urology and Nephrology

oncologist Volzhsky, Russia

I. N Dymkov

Wolgograd Regional Center of Urology and Nephrology

M.D., Ph.D. doctoral candidate (M); Deputy Chief Physician Volzhsky, Russia

A. V Perlina

Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute

dermatologist Moscow, Russia


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