COVID-19 Infection in Heart Transplant Recipients: Results of a Six-Month Prospective Survey-Based Study


Solid-organ transplantation recipients were assumed highly vulnerable to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the results of previous studies in patients with orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) under immunosuppressive therapy are contradictory. Therefore, we aimed to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 infection and associated risk factors, along with the six-month outcomes in COVID-19 positive OHT patients. This single-center telephone-based survey was conducted on OHT patients. Using a detailed questionnaire, exposure to COVID-19, related symptoms, and preventive self-care measures were collected. Outcomes of COVID-19-positive patients were reassessed using another survey six months later. 118 OHT patients (male: n=87, 73.7%) were included with a mean age of 45.3±13.1 years. Sixteen patients (13.5%) reported one or more symptoms compatible with COVID-19, of whom 12 (10.2%) tested positive. Our results indicated no statistically significant association between COVID-19 and comorbidities. Poor adherence to self-care measures and contact with positive index cases were both significantly associated with COVID-19 infection (P<0.001). A later six months follow-up showed that two out of 12 (16.6%) COVID-19 positive OHT patients died. There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of COVID-19 in our patients compared to Iran’s general population (P=0.152). Non-compliance with personal protective protocols and a history of contact with COVID-19 cases were the most risk factors for COVID-19 infection in OHT patients.

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IssueVol 60, No 6 (2022) QRcode
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Heart transplantation Immunosuppression Preventive self-care measures Telephone-based survey

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Lalehfar V, Larti F, Mehrakizadeh A, Bakhshandeh A, Sattarzadeh Badkoubeh R, Mohammadzadeh S, Sardari A. COVID-19 Infection in Heart Transplant Recipients: Results of a Six-Month Prospective Survey-Based Study. Acta Med Iran. 2022;60(6):329-337.