COVID-19 in heart transplant recipients—A seroprevalence survey

Snehal R. Patel, Christiana Gjelaj, Rena Fletcher, Anne Luke, Alexandra Paschenko, Muhammad Farooq, Omar Saeed, Sasa Vukelic, Ulrich P. Jorde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 in heart transplant recipients has not been fully defined, because asymptomatic and sub-clinical cases are difficult to capture. Seroprevalence surveys are an important tool to identify not just cases that have come to clinical attention, but all previously infected recipients. We performed a seroprevalence survey of the adult heart transplant program at a large New York City Hospital System. A total of 232 (87% of recipients being followed) subjects were tested, of whom 37 (15.9%) were found to be previously infected. This is comparable to the overall rate of prior infection in the NYC metro area. Disease course tended to be more severe than in the general population; however, this was at least partially driven by traditional risk factors of age and comorbidities. Lastly, 9 of 10 recipients who were initially found to be PCR positive subsequently tested positive for antibodies, confirming the ability of this population to mount a humoral response. In conclusion, prevalence of COVID-19 in heart transplant recipients on immunosuppression was comparable to that in the general population of NYC, and 90% of those with an initially positive viral swab developed antibodies. In those who are infected, disease course tends to be more severe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14329
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • complication: infectious
  • heart (allograft) function/dysfunction
  • immunosuppressant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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