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Zimmermann, Julia; Glueck, Olaf M.; Fertmann, Jan M.; Sienel, Wulf G.; Yavuz, Goekce; Damirov, Fuad; Kovacs, Julia R.; Tufman, Amanda; Irlbeck, Michael; Kneidinger, Nikolaus; Michel, Sebastian; Kauke, Teresa; Hatz, Rudolf A. and Schneider, Christian P. (2022): COVID-19 in Recent Lung Transplant Recipients: Clinical Outcomes and Management Strategies. In: Transplantation Proceedings, Vol. 54, No. 6: pp. 1504-1516

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Background. COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms, with particularly high risk of severe respiratory failure and death in patients with predisposing risk factors such as advanced age or obesity. Recipients of solid organ transplants, and in particular lung transplantation, are more susceptible to viral infection owing to immune suppressive medication. As little is known about the SARS-CoV-2 infection in these patients, this study was undertaken to describe outcomes and potential management strategies in early COVID-19 infection early after lung transplantation. Methods. We describe the incidence and outcome of COVID-19 in a cohort of recent lung transplant recipients in Munich. Six of 186 patients who underwent lung transplantation in the period between March 2019 and March 2021 developed COVID-19 within the first year after transplantation. We documented the clinical course and laboratory changes for all patients showing differences in the severity of the infection with COVID-19 and their outcomes. Results. Three of 6 SARS-CoV-2 infections were hospital-acquired and the patients were still in inpatient treatment after lung transplantation. All patients suffered from symptoms. One patient did not receive antiviral therapy. Remdesivir was prescribed in 4 patients and the remaining patient received remdesivir, bamlanivimab and convalescent plasma. Conclusions. COVID-19 does not appear to cause milder disease in lung transplant recipients compared with the general population. Immunosuppression is potentially responsible for the delayed formation of antibodies and their premature loss. Several comorbidities and a general poor preoperative condition showed an extended hospital stay.

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