Liver and Kidney Transplant During a 6-Month Period in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Single-Center Experience
Soy, Ebru H. Ayvazoglu
Karakayali, Feza Yarbug
Sayin, Cihat Burak
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Objectives: With the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, many studies have indicated that elective surgeries should be postponed. However, post-ponement of transplants may cause diseases to get worse and increase the number in wait lists. We believe that, with precautions, transplant does not pose a risk during pandemic. Here, we aimed to evaluate our transplant results, which we safely performed during a 6-month pandemic period. Materials and Methods: Until September 2020, 3140 kidney and 667 liver transplants have been performed in our centers. We evaluated 38 kidney transplants and 9 liver transplants procedures performed during the pandemic (March 1 to September 2, 2020). Recipient and donor candidates were screened for COVID-19 with polymerase chain reaction and thoracic computed tomography. All recipients had routine immunosuppressive protocol. During hospitalization at our COVID-19-free transplant facility, we restricted the interactions during multidisciplinary rounds. Results: During the pandemic, 38 kidney transplants with an average length of hospital stay of 8.1 days were performed. Mean serum creatinine values of recipients were 0.91, 0.86, and 0.74 mg/dL on postoperative days 7, 30, and 90, respectively. During the pandemic, 9 living donor liver transplants (1 adult, 8 pediatric) were performed with an average length of hospital stay of 17.1 days. Mean serum total bilirubin levels were 0.9, 0.5, and 0.4 mg/dL on postoperative days 7, 30, and 90, respectively. Mean serum aspartate aminotransferase levels were 38.1, 28.3, and 22.3 U/L on postoperative days 7, 30, and 90, respectively. All recipients and donors were successfully discharged. Only 1 liver recipient died (on day 55 after discharge as a result of oxalosis-induced heart failure). Conclusions: According to our results, when precautions are taken, transplant does not pose a risk to patients during the pandemic period. We attribute the safety and success shown to our newly developed protocol in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.