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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 135-141

Clinical course and outcomes of heart transplant patients with COVID infection

1 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Cardiothoracic Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Onco-anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, NCI (Jhajhar), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Manoj Kumar Sahu
Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Room No. 5, 7th Floor, Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_24_21

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Objective: The objective is to assess the clinical course and outcomes of heart transplant (HTx) recipients affected by COVID-19 disease in a tertiary care health care institution. Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) is a contagious illness with alarming morbidity and mortality. The HTx recipients are chronically immunosuppressed and thus COVID-19 infection in them may result in an unpredictable clinical course. Materials and Methods: HTx recipients in a tertiary care transplant center in North India were retrospectively reviewed from January 2020 to January 2021. Case records of 28 patients of HTx were reviewed, and four (14%) were found to have developed Covid-19 infection. Clinical parameters and outcomes of these four HTx recipients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection are described. Results: Fourteen percent of our HTx patients (4 out of 28 patients under follow-up) developed COVID-19 in the first infection wave. The study population consisted of 3 males and 1 female patient with a median age of 28 years (range 15–39). The most common presenting symptoms were fever (100%), myalgia (100%) and cough (75%). There was no mortality observed in this study. None required intensive care admission or mechanical ventilatory support. Three were managed with hospital admission while one was subjected to home isolation. The mean hospital stay was 13.5 days (12–17 days). Immunosuppressants were modified by reducing tacrolimus and mycophenolate, however, corticosteroids were continued. Conclusion: The dose modification rather than discontinuation of immunomodulatory agents should be established as standard of care for transplant recipients. Steroids may provide added benefit and should be continued. The morbidity and mortality in such cases may be lower than anticipated; however, this needs to be substantiated with larger multicentric studies.

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