14.10.2022 | original article
Coping with a lack of evidence: living-donor kidney transplantation in the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
Erschienen in: European Surgery | Ausgabe 1/2023Einloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
Due to immunosuppressive therapy, transplant patients are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. A potentially deadly new virus haunted us in 2020: SARS-CoV‑2, causing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). We analyzed the consequences of this previously unknown risk for our living-donor transplant program in the first year of the pandemic. After the complete lockdown in spring 2020, our transplant center in Linz resumed the living-donor kidney transplantation program from June to September 2020, between the first and second waves of COVID-19 in Austria. We compared the outcomes of these living-donor kidney transplantations with the transplant outcomes of the corresponding periods of the three previous years. From June 4 to September 9, 2020, five living-donor kidney transplantations were performed. All donors and recipients were screened for COVID 19 infection by PCR testing the day before surgery. Kidney transplant recipients remained isolated in single rooms until discharge from hospital. All recipients and donors remained SARS-CoV‑2 negative during the follow-up of 10 months and have been fully vaccinated to date. The number of living transplants in the studied period of 2020 was constant compared to the same months of 2017, 2018, and 2019. Living-donor kidney transplantation can be continued using testing for SARS-CoV‑2 and meticulous hygienic precautions in epidemiologically favorable phases of the SARS-CoV‑2 pandemic. Donors and recipients should be carefully selected and informed about risks and benefits.