Islet cell transplantation: the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

CellR4 2020; 8: e2957
DOI: 10.32113/cellr4_202010_2957

  Topic: Islet transplantation  

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is a worldwide epidemic. Estimates of the infection vary by country and region, and US reports over a quarter of the total COVID-19 cases, reported worldwide. COVID-19 has made a significant impact on organ transplantation, in general, and islet cell transplantation, in particular. Islet cell transplantation has been proven a viable cell replacement strategy for treatment of patients with impaired awareness of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia and is now approved as standard of care in Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. Clinical success of an islet transplant is largely dependent on the quality of a deceased donor pancreas. Hence, careful selection and testing of potential organ donors are of critical importance. The threat of COVID-19 transmission has either significantly slowed down or completely shut down islet transplant programs in most US transplant centers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Literature regarding COVID-19 infection rates and mitigation strategies, National Institutes of Health, American Society of Transplantation and UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) recommendations regarding donor organ testing for SARS-CoV-2 and resource allocation were reviewed.

CONCLUSIONS: Impact of local COVID-19 transmission and changing epidemiology of the disease, availability of resources that include protective equipment, donor procurement teams and adequate donor testing, impact of immunosuppression regiments on COVID-19 infection, as well as local regulations, are issues that should be critically assessed prior to reopening islet transplant programs.

To cite this article

Islet cell transplantation: the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

CellR4 2020; 8: e2957
DOI: 10.32113/cellr4_202010_2957

Publication History

Submission date: 28 Sep 2020

Revised on: 15 Oct 2020

Accepted on: 22 Oct 2020

Published online: 29 Oct 2020