Covid-19 positive donor utilization for heart transplantation: The new frontier for donor pool expansion

Gaurang Nandkishor Vaidya, Paul Anaya, Maya Ignaszewski, Andrew Kolodziej, Rajasekhar Malyala, Navin Rajagopalan, Michael Sekela, Emma Birks

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Hearts from COVID-19 positive donors (CPD) are being utilized for heart transplantation by some centers; however, this is in the setting of the lack of guidelines or robust evidence. The paucity of evidence is reflected in the recent Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) communication describing CPD utilization as an “unknown risk.” Methods and Results: We analyzed the UNOS database for adult heart transplants performed between January 2021 to December 2022, and CPD comprised of a significant percentage of donors, being used in >10% of recipients in some UNOS regions. Between July 2022 and December 2022, 7.9% of heart transplants were with CPD, and in the same period Hepatitis C positive donors accounted for 7.1% and donation after circulatory death (DCD) accounted for 10.3%. Conclusion: If the transplant community comes up with a standardized approach and guidance in using CPD hearts, this could provide an effective donor pool expansion strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15046
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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