The COVID-19 pandemic brought transplantation to a global standstill. Since February, 2020, healthcare providers implemented a radical and focused response to the pandemic, prioritizing organizational readiness and resource re-allocation to meet the anticipated influx of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Many services, including solid organ transplantation, were suspended as intensive care units (ICU) and anesthetic resources were re-allocated. All European countries have implemented preventive screenings policies for potential organ donors and follow up of the transplanted patients.
On March 30, 2020, the European Liver and Intestine Transplantation Association (ELITA) sent out a call to establish a COVID-19 registry for liver transplant recipients to 149 liver transplant centers located in 30 European countries and affiliated to the European Liver Transplant Registry (ELTR).
As a consequence of the development of this database, studies based on the risk of COVID-19 infection in European liver transplant recipients have been developed. The preliminary results from the ELITA COVID-19 registry suggest that mortality in liver transplant recipients might be higher in older recipients than in younger patients and could be worse in patients with longer follow up since transplantation.
ELITA is planning to promote further studies on the reduction of the quantity of organs offered, impact on the mortality rate of patients on the waiting lists, patient outcomes and the role of the immunosuppression in COVID-19 recipients.
The data collected by ELITA will allow a better understanding of the clinical impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the fragile populations of liver transplant recipients and patients on the waiting list.
– Luca S Belli, Christophe Duvoux, Vincent Karam, Rene Adam, Valentin Cuervas-Mons, Luisa Pasulo, Carmelo Loinaz, Federica Invernizzi, Damiano Patrono, Sherrie Bhoori, Olga Ciccarelli, Maria Cristina Morelli, Lluis Castells, Victor Lopez-Lopez, Sara Conti, Costantino Fondevila, Wojchiech Polak,
COVID-19 in liver transplant recipients: preliminary data from the ELITA/ELTR registry. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Volume 5, Issue 8, 2020
– Polak, W.G., Fondevila, C., Karam, V., Adam, R., Baumann, U., Germani, G., Nadalin, S., Taimr, P., Toso, C., Troisi, R.I., Zieniewicz, K., Belli, L.S., Duvoux, C. (2020), Impact of COVID‐19 on liver transplantation in Europe: Alert from an early survey of European Liver and Intestine Transplantation Association (ELITA) and European Liver Transplant Registry (ELTR). Transplant International, Accepted Author Manuscript