Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to provide a critical appraisal of the literature on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on organ transplantation, with a specific focus on lung transplantation given the predominant pulmonary involvement of the virus. RECENT FINDINGS: There was a significant decrease in lung transplant volumes during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic due to a combination of reduced availability of donors and an imbalance between waitlist additions and inactivations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was subsequently associated with an exuberant immune response that can lead to the development of postinfectious fibrotic lung disease. Few lung transplants have been performed in previously infected recipients and long-term outcomes remain unknown. Although the lung transplant volume rebounded during the second wave, it is unclear what the long-term effects of healthcare resource limitation and public health measures will have on transplant volumes in the future. Outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection in previous lung transplant recipients appear to be worse than the general public, and, although an immunosuppressed state likely contributes to these outcomes, whether immunosuppression should be altered in those exposed to or infected with SARS-CoV-2 remains unanswered in the absence of unequivocal data. SUMMARY: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of challenges for lung transplant programs across the globe. Multiple research questions remain to be answered in order to optimally manage lung transplant recipients in the context of this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

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