The present study examined whether patient characteristics, management, and outcome of kidney transplant recipients (KTx) with COVID-19 changed in the second versus the first pandemic wave.
We reviewed all available data (demographics, medical history, comorbidities, therapeutic interventions, and outcome) on our KTx with COVID-19 during the first wave (March–September 2020, n = 33) and the second wave (October 2020–February 2021, n = 149) of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One hundred eighty-two out of our 1,503 KTx in active follow-up got COVID-19 during 12-month period, corresponding to a prevalence of 12.1%. No difference was found in age, gender distribution, comorbidities, body mass index, or baseline immunosuppression between the 2 COVID-19 waves. Bilateral COVID pneumonia was more frequent during the first wave. More KTx were managed as outpatients during the second wave (15 vs. 39%, p < 0.01). Calcineurin inhibitors were more sparingly reduced during the second wave, whereas antimetabolites were similarly reduced (91 vs. 86, p = ns). Admission to intensive care units was comparable between the first (27%) and second waves (23%). During the first wave, 8 out of 9 patients (89%) requiring intensive care died, whereas the mortality of the ICU patients in the second wave was 68% (23 deaths) ( p = 0.2). The overall mortality was 24% during the first wave and 16% during the second wave ( p = 0.21), while in-hospital mortality was identical between the COVID-19 waves (27%). Increasing age and poor allograft function were significant predictors of mortality.