Sunday, July 12, 2020

COVID-19 especially harmful for heart transplant recipients

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Also, seven HT recipients underwent an echocardiogram while hospitalized. The results were unchanged compared to their most recent echocardiogram for five patients, improved in one patient and worse in one patient.

Although our cohort is small, we recommend that patients who have received HT are treated at a transplant center while infected with COVID-19,” wrote lead author Farhana Latif, MD, Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and colleagues. “Furthermore, these patients will require ongoing monitoring in the recovery phase as an immunosuppression regimen is reintroduced and the consequences to the allograft itself become apparent. The high case fatality rate in this cohort calls for close monitoring of recipients of HT and a low threshold for hospitalization during acute infection with COVID-19.”

Latif et al. did note that asymptomatic patients were not routinely tested, meaning they “may have underestimated the prevalence of COVID-19 infection in this transplant population.”

“Furthermore, we were unable to address whether cardiovascular risk factors, immunosuppression, or HT status itself increased the risk of mortality among this population,” they wrote.

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