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Morbidity of COVID-19 in Kidney Transplant Patients
24, Nov 2020

Morbidity of COVID-19 in Kidney Transplant Patients

Kidney transplant patients are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection due to chronic immunosuppression and underlying chronic conditions. Many of these chronic conditions cause kidney failure which leads to kidney transplantation.  


A multicenter study conducted between March 2 - May 15, 2020, shows that kidney transplant recipients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection are at high risk for acute kidney injury and death. 


A 9-week study was conducted at 12 transplant centers in the US, Italy, and Spain. 

  • 144 kidney transplant patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 infection. 
  • Notable outcomes were acute kidney injury in half, respiratory failure in 29%, and death in 32% during a median follow-up of 52 days.
  • Death was more likely with advanced age, and not with a particular anti-rejection medication.
  • Those who died also had lower lymphocyte counts and estimated renal function, and higher serum lactate dehydrogenase, procalcitonin, and interleukin-6 levels. 
  • These patients had a high incidence of underlying conditions: high blood pressure in 95%, diabetes or obesity in half, heart disease in a fourth, and lung disease in a fifth.


The results of this study are pertinent to an earlier phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow-up reports can help define whether antiviral drugs, convalescent plasma, and dexamethasone have improved outcomes of COVID-19 in this vulnerable population. 





Plexision develops cellular biomarkers for personalized diagnosis and drug development in solid organ transplantation and immunological disorders. We also pioneer in R&D projects centered on integrating biomarker targets in all phases of drug development, from preclinical to post-marketing. Plexision’s technology can be adapted to

  • - Assess disease risk for several immunological disorders.
  • - Predict the success of a drug for a specific patient.
  • - Develop dosing recommendations for new immunological drugs.

Our state-of-the-art laboratory is CLIA-certified and located in Pittsburgh, PA.