Delayed mortality among solid organ transplant recipients hospitalized for COVID-19.



Most studies of solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with COVID-19 focus on outcomes within one month of illness onset. Delayed mortality in SOT recipients hospitalized for COVID-19 has not been fully examined.


We used data from a multicenter registry to calculate mortality by 90 days following initial SARS-CoV-2 detection in SOT recipients hospitalized for COVID-19 and developed multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models to compare risk factors for death by days 28 and 90.


Vital status at day 90 was available for 936 of 1117 (84%) SOT recipients hospitalized for COVID-19: 190 of 936 (20%) died by 28 days and an additional 56 of 246 deaths (23%) occurred between days 29 and 90. Factors associated with mortality by day 90 included: age > 65 years [aHR 1.8 (1.3-2.4), p =<0.001], lung transplant (vs. non-lung transplant) [aHR 1.5 (1.0-2.3), p=0.05], heart failure [aHR 1.9 (1.2-2.9), p=0.006], chronic lung disease [aHR 2.3 (1.5-3.6), p<0.001] and body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m 2 [aHR 1.5 (1.1-2.0), p=0.02]. These associations were similar for mortality by day 28. Compared to diagnosis during early 2020 (March 1-June 19, 2020), diagnosis during late 2020 (June 20-December 31, 2020) was associated with lower mortality by day 28 [aHR 0.7 (0.5-1.0, p=0.04] but not by day 90 [aHR 0.9 (0.7-1.3), p=0.61].


In SOT recipients hospitalized for COVID-19, >20% of deaths occurred between 28 and 90 days following SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. Future investigations should consider extending follow-up duration to 90 days for more complete mortality assessment.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Heldman, Madeleine R, Olivia S Kates, Kassem Safa, Camille N Kotton, Ashrit Multani, Sarah J Georgia, Julie M Steinbrink, Barbara D Alexander, et al. (2022). Delayed mortality among solid organ transplant recipients hospitalized for COVID-19. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. p. ciac159. 10.1093/cid/ciac159 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Madeleine Rose Heldman

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Julie Steinbrink

Assistant Professor of Medicine

I am a transplant infectious diseases physician. My clinical care focuses on the management of infections in immunocompromised patients, including solid organ and bone marrow transplant recipients, as well as cancer patients. My research focuses on developing noninvasive biomarker diagnostics and severity prognostic tools for infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients.


Barbara Dudley Alexander

Professor of Medicine

Clinical research related to infectious complications of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, with a particular interest in the treatment and rapid diagnosis of fungal disease. Training the next generation of Transplant Infectious Disease Physicians is a special focus of mine as the Principal Investigator of our Interdisciplinary T32 Training Program funded the NIH. 

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.