Characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 in heart transplantation recipients in the Netherlands

S. A. Muller, O. C. Manintveld, M. K. Szymanski, K. Damman, M. G. van der Meer, K. Caliskan, L. W. van Laake, M. I. F. J. Oerlemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Immunocompromised patients are at high risk of complicated severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 infection. The aim of this retrospective study was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of heart transplantation (HTx) recipients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Netherlands. Methods HTx patients from one of the three HTx centres in the Netherlands with COVID-19 (proven by positive reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction or serology test result) between February 2020 and June 2021 were included. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality and the secondary endpoint was disease severity. Results COVID-19 was diagnosed in 54/665 HTx patients (8%), with a mean (+/- standard deviation (SD)) time after HTx of 11 +/- 8 years. Mean (+/- SD) age was 53 +/- 14 years and 39% were female. Immunosuppressive therapy dosage was reduced in 37% patients (20/54). Hospitalisation was required in 39% patients (21/54), and 13% patients (7/54) had severe COVID-19 (leading to intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death). In-hospital mortality was 14% (3/21), and all-cause mortality was 6%. Compared with patients with moderate COVID-19 (hospitalised without ICU indication), severe COVID-19 patients tended to be transplanted earlier and had a significantly higher mean (+/- SD) body mass index (26 +/- 3 vs 30 +/- 3 kg/m(2), p = 0.01). Myocardial infarction, cellular rejection and pulmonary embolism were observed once in three different HTx patients. Conclusion HTx patients were at increased risk of complicated COVID-19 with frequent hospitalisation, but the all-cause mortality was substantially lower than previously described (7-33%).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalNetherlands Heart Journal
Issue number11
Early online date8 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No funding was received for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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