Published on February 21, 2021
AHMEDABAD: Can potential kidney donors continue with the process if they contract Covid-19 infection? What are the chances of viral infection spread in the recipient even though the donor has recovered from the pandemic?
One of the first studies across India to assess the success rate of kidney transplants from recovered Covid-19 patients revealed that the recipients did not face any major issues, and acute rejection was reported only in 6.6% of 75 selected cases. The study took into consideration patients from 22 centres across India, including four from Gujarat, from where eight cases were selected.
Dr Vivek Kute, professor of nephrology at IKDRC-ITS and secretary of Indian Society of Organ Transplantation, said that the study covered July 2020 to January 2021 period. “Out of the 75 donors, 23% were asymptomatic, 48% had mild symptoms, 20% had moderate and 9% had severe symptoms. Patient and graft survival was 100% and the follow-up also recorded good results,” he said.
He added that the risk benefit analysis with normal creatinine levels for 44 days were taken into consideration. “We have to live with Covid-19 in 2021 and continue transplantation services with all preventive measures as mortality on dialysis is relatively high,” said Dr Vineet Mishra, IKDRC director.
Delhi-based senior renal transplant surgeon Sandeep Guleria, who is also one of the authors of the study, said the study showed that if someone has recovered from Covid-19 fully and all the tests are normal, the person is a good candidate for donation. “Thus, if the patients of kidney diseases are on dialysis for long, transplant is a better option. The patients should not fear about the possible transmission of infection,” he said.
The initial phase of pandemic witnessed a lot of apprehension about transplants, which had come to a grinding halt due to its immuno-suppressant nature. “As the donors are decided well in advance to understand compatibility and to fulfill legal requirements, such questions came often to the experts,” said an IKDRC official.