Patterns and outcomes of COVID-19 donor utilization for heart transplant

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The outcomes following COVID-19 positive donor (CPD) utilization for heart transplant are unknown. Methods: UNOS database was analyzed for heart transplants performed from the declaration of COVID-19 pandemic until September 30, 2022. Result: Since the onset of pandemic, there were 9876 heart transplants reported. COVID-19 antigen or NAT results were available in 7698 adult donors within 14 days of donation, of which 177 (2.3%) were positive. There was no difference in recipient demographics, including age (COVID positive donor vs. negative: 55 vs. 56 years, p =.2) and BMI. Listing status 1 and 2 were similar in both groups (7% vs. 10% and 48% vs. 49% respectively, p =.4). Durable and temporary mechanical support were similar in both groups pre-transplant (both groups 33%, p =.9). There was no difference in days on the waitlist (median 31 days, p =.9). Simultaneous renal transplant rates were similar (11% vs. 10%, p =.9). CPD utilization has increased since the onset of the pandemic, and the adoption is present across most UNOS regions. Post-transplant, there was no difference in length of stay (median 16 vs. 17 days, p =.9) and acute rejection episodes prior to discharge (3% vs. 8%, p =.1). In survival analysis of 90-day follow up, number of deaths reported were comparable (5% in both groups, p =.9) Follow-up LVEF was comparable (62% vs. 60%, p =.4). Conclusion: Active COVID-19 infection in donors did not affect survival or rejection rates in the short-term post-heart transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14917
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

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


  • COVID-19
  • UNOS
  • death
  • donor
  • heart transplant
  • listing
  • mortality
  • solid organ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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