Use of Organs from SARS-CoV-2 Infected Donors: Is It Safe? A Contemporary Review

Vivek B. Kute*, Vidya A. Fleetwood, Hari Shankar Meshram, Alexis Guenette, Krista L. Lentine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: As the prevalence of individuals with recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases, determining if and when organs from these donors can be safely used is an important priority. We examined current knowledge of outcomes of transplant using donors with recovered COVID-19. Recent Findings: A literature search of PubMed and Google scholar databases was conducted to identify articles with terms “SARS-CoV2,” “COVID-19,” “donor recovered,” and “transplantation” published through 08/10/2021. We identified 25 reports detailing 94 recipients of both abdominal and thoracic transplants from donors with both prior and active COVID-19 infection. Rates of transmission to the recipient and of transplanted organ dysfunction were low among reports of donors with prior COVID-19 infection. End organ dysfunction and transmission were more common with active infection, although few reports are available. Standardized reporting is needed to better assess the impact of donor symptomatology, cycle thresholds, and individual recipient risk factors on postoperative outcomes. Summary: Available reports suggest that transplantation from COVID-19 donors may be feasible and safe, at least in short term follow-up. Nevertheless, there is a need for standardized testing and management protocols which should be tailored for available resources. While increased availability of COVID-19 vaccinations will mitigate risks of donor-derived COVID-19 and simplify management, continued vigilance is warranted during the ongoing public health emergency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Transplantation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Deceased donors
  • Living donors
  • Organ donation
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Screening
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Nephrology
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of Organs from SARS-CoV-2 Infected Donors: Is It Safe? A Contemporary Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this