Utilization of COVID-19 positive donors for Heart transplantation and associated short-term outcomes. The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation DeFilippis, E. M., Wayda, B., Lala, A., Givertz, M. M., Khush, K. K. 2022


BACKGROUND: The safety and efficacy of using COVID-19 positive donors in heart transplantation (HT) are increasingly relevant, but not well established. The present study evaluated the characteristics and utilization of such donors and associated post-HT outcomes.METHODS: All adult (=18 years old) potential donors and HT recipients in the United States from April 21, 2020 to March 31, 2022 were included. Donor COVID-19 status was defined by the presence (or absence) of any positive test within 21 days of organ recovery. Donor and recipient characteristics and post-HT outcomes, including a primary composite of death, graft failure, and re-transplantation, were compared by donor COVID-19 status.RESULTS: Of 967 COVID-19(+) potential donors, 19.3% (n=187) were used for HT compared to 26.7% (n=6277) of COVID-19(-) donors (p < 0.001). Transplanted COVID-19(+) vs COVID-19(-) donors were younger, but otherwise were similar. Recipients of hearts from COVID-19+ vs COVID-19(-) donors less frequently received pre-HT inotropes (24.1% vs 31.7%, p=0.023) and ventricular assist device therapy (29.7% vs 36.8%, p=0.040). There were no significant differences in any post-HT outcome by donor COVID-19 status, including the primary composite outcome at 90 days (5.4% vs 5.6%, p=0.91). Among COVID-19(+) donors, the presence of a subsequent negative test prior to transplant was not associated with posttransplant outcomes.CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that carefully selected COVID-19 positive donors may be used for HT with no difference in short-term post-transplant outcomes. Additional data regarding donor and recipient treatments and impact of vaccination should be collected to better inform our use of organs from COVID(+) donors.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2022.12.006

View details for PubMedID 36609092