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Risk factors associated with poor response to COVID-19 vaccination in kidney transplant recipients [Letter]

Azzi, Yorg; Raees, Harith; Wang, Tao; Cleare, Levi; Liriano-Ward, Luz; Loarte-Campos, Pablo; Pynadath, Cindy; Ajaimy, Maria; Alani, Omar; Bao, Yi; Pirofski, Liise-Anne; Akalin, Enver
PMID: 34481804
ISSN: 1523-1755
CID: 5241742

A Safe Anti-A2 Titer for a Successful A2 Incompatible Kidney Transplantation: A Single-center Experience and Review of the Literature

Azzi, Yorg; Nair, Gayatri; Loarte-Campos, Pablo; Ajaimy, Maria; Graham, Jay; Liriano-Ward, Luz; Pynadath, Cindy; Uehlinger, Joan; Parides, Michael; Campbell, Alesa; Colovai, Adriana; Alani, Omar; Le, Marie; Greenstein, Stuart; Kinkhabwala, Milan; Rocca, Juan; Akalin, Enver
BACKGROUND:Kidney allocation system allows blood type B candidates accept kidneys from A2/A2B donors. There is no mandate by UNOS on which the anti-A2 level is acceptable. We aimed to investigate the safety of kidney transplant in blood group B patients with anti-A2 titers ≤16. METHODS:We performed 41 A2-incompatible kidney transplants in blood group B recipients between May 2015 and September 2019. Clinical outcomes were compared with a control group of 75 blood group B recipients who received blood group compatible kidney transplantation at the same period. RESULTS:Of the 41 recipients, 85% were male, 48% African American, with a median age of 53 (20-73) y. Thirty-eight (93%) were deceased-donor and 3 (7%) were living-donor kidney transplant recipients. Pretransplant anti-A2 IgG titers were 2 in 16, 4 in 9, 8 in 6, and 16 in 5 and too weak to titer in 5 recipients. Eight patients had pretransplant donor-specific antibodies. During a median follow-up of 32.6 mo (6-57.3) patient and graft survival were 100% and 92% in the A2-incompatible kidney transplant group, and 91% and 92% in the blood group compatible group, respectively. Twelve A2-incompatible recipients underwent a 21 clinically indicated kidney biopsies at a median 28 d (6-390) after transplantation. None of the patients developed acute antibody-mediated rejection and 2 patients (5%) had acute T-cell-mediated rejection. Interestingly, peritubular capillary C4d positivity was seen in 7 biopsies which did not have any findings of acute rejection or microvascular inflammation but not in any of the rejection-free biopsies in the control group. C4d positivity was persistent in 5 of those patients who had follow-up biopsies. CONCLUSIONS:A2-incompatible transplantation is safe in patients with anti-A2 titers ≤16 with excellent short-term kidney allograft outcomes. C4d positivity is frequent in allograft biopsies without acute rejection.
PMID: 33521251
ISSN: 2373-8731
CID: 5241732

COVID-19 and Solid Organ Transplantation: A Review Article

Azzi, Yorg; Bartash, Rachel; Scalea, Joseph; Loarte-Campos, Pablo; Akalin, Enver
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted solid organ transplantation (SOT). Early in the outbreak period, transplant societies recommended suspending living kidney transplant programs in communities with widespread transmission to avoid exposing recipients to increased risk of immunosuppression, while recommendations were made to reserve deceased-donor kidney transplantation for likely life-saving indications. SOT recipients may be at high risk from COVID-19 disease due to chronic immunosuppressive treatment and other medical comorbidities. Mortality rates reported between 13 to over 30% in SOT recipients. In addition to high rates of complications and mortality attributable to COVID-19 infections, the pandemic has also led to additional complexities in transplantation including new questions regarding screening of donors and recipients, decision making to accept a patient for kidney transplant or wait after pandemic. The clinical implications of COVID-19 infection may also differ depending on the type of the transplanted organ and recipient comorbidities which further impacts decisions on continuing transplantation during the pandemic. Transplant activity during a pandemic should be tailored with careful selection of both donors and recipients. Furthermore, while tremendous strides have been made in treatment strategies and vaccinations, the impact of these in transplant recipients may be attenuated in the setting of their immunosuppression. In this review, we aim to summarize several aspects of COVID-19 in transplantation, including the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics, clinical outcomes in SOT recipients, and end-stage kidney disease patients, transplant activity during the pandemic, and treatment options for COVID-19 disease.
PMID: 33148977
ISSN: 1534-6080
CID: 5241722

COVID-19 infection in kidney transplant recipients at the epicenter of pandemics

Azzi, Yorg; Parides, Michael; Alani, Omar; Loarte-Campos, Pablo; Bartash, Rachel; Forest, Stefanie; Colovai, Adriana; Ajaimy, Maria; Liriano-Ward, Luz; Pynadath, Cindy; Graham, Jay; Le, Marie; Greenstein, Stuart; Rocca, Juan; Kinkhabwala, Milan; Akalin, Enver
We investigated the prevalence and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in recipients of kidney transplants in the Bronx, New York, one of the epicenters of the pandemic. Between March 16 and June 2, 2020, 132 kidney transplant recipients tested positive by SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. From May 3 to July 29, 2020, 912 kidney transplant recipients were screened for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies during routine clinic visits, of which 16.6% tested positive. Fifty-five of the 152 patients had previously tested positive by RT-PCR, while the remaining 97 did not have significant symptoms and had not been previously tested by RT-PCR. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 23.4% in the 975 patients tested by either RT-PCR or SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Older patients and patients with higher serum creatinine levels were more likely diagnosed by RT-PCR compared to SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Sixty-nine RT-PCR positive patients were screened for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies at a median of 44 days post-diagnosis (Inter Quartile Range 31-58) and 80% were positive. Overall mortality was 20.5% but significantly higher (37.8%) in the patients who required hospitalization. Twenty-three percent of the hospitalized patients required kidney replacement therapy and 6.3% lost their allografts. In multivariable analysis, older age, receipt of deceased-donor transplantation, lack of influenza vaccination in the previous year and higher serum interleukine-6 levels were associated with mortality. Thus, 42% of patients with a kidney transplant and with COVID-19 were diagnosed on antibody testing without significant clinical symptoms; 80% of patients with positive RT-PCR developed SARS-CoV-2 IgG and mortality was high among patients requiring hospitalization.
PMID: 33069762
ISSN: 1523-1755
CID: 5241712

Covid-19 and Kidney Transplantation [Letter]

Akalin, Enver; Azzi, Yorg; Bartash, Rachel; Seethamraju, Harish; Parides, Michael; Hemmige, Vagish; Ross, Michael; Forest, Stefanie; Goldstein, Yitz D; Ajaimy, Maria; Liriano-Ward, Luz; Pynadath, Cindy; Loarte-Campos, Pablo; Nandigam, Purna B; Graham, Jay; Le, Marie; Rocca, Juan; Kinkhabwala, Milan
PMID: 32329975
ISSN: 1533-4406
CID: 5241702

A Very Unusual Cause of Hemoptysis

Loarte, Pablo; Holguin, Geraldo; Cohen, Ronny
The use of Lucite balls or spheres played a role in the management of tuberculosis during the first decade of the 20th century. Several complications have been reported with the use of this surgical technique, but are rarely seen nowadays. The availability of effective oral regimens has forced to abandon this approach. Calcification of these spheres within the lung cavity produced a series of late complications result of the migration of these foreign bodies to adjacent structures, causing erosion of blood vessels and nerves. Herein, we present a case where the aforementioned complication caused significant bleeding with hemodynamic instability. The source of the profuse hemoptysis was identified and was resolved with the combined use of noninvasive approaches such as bronchoscopy and angiographic embolization.
PMID: 28031656
ISSN: 1061-1711
CID: 2383332

Resin-Induced Colonic Pseudotumor: Rare Complication from Chronic Use of Potassium Binders in a Hemodialysis Patient

Bui, Mary; Chou, Shyan-Yih; Faubert, Pierre; Loarte, Pablo; Cohen, Ronny
Potassium-binding resins are widely used in the treatment of hyperkalemia, mostly in the acute setting. Gastrointestinal adverse events, although reported, are not frequently seen due to its short course of use. This report describes a case involving an end-stage renal disease patient on hemodialysis who developed a colonic mass after being on sodium polystyrene sulfonate chronically for persistent hyperkalemia. Gastrointestinal symptoms developed late during the treatment rather than early as reported previously in the literature. This mass was mistaken for a carcinomatous lesion, which initiated an extensive work-up as well as hospitalization that nearly resulted in a subtotal colectomy.
PMID: 27034861
ISSN: 2090-6641
CID: 2059332

Understanding Unmet Needs in the Older Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Patient [Review]

Loarte, Pablo; Dashkova, Irina; Tortez, Leanne; Dashkova, Anna; Kozikowski, Andrzej; Ibrahim, Ramy; Pekmezaris, Renee
ISSN: 1573-3947
CID: 5253462

Portal vein thrombosis

Cohen, Ronny; Mallet, Thierry; Gale, Michael; Soltys, Remigiusz; Loarte, Pablo
Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is the blockage or narrowing of the portal vein by a thrombus. It is relatively rare and has been linked with the presence of an underlying liver disease or prothrombotic disorders. We present a case of a young male who presented with vague abdominal symptoms for approximately one week. Imaging revealed the presence of multiple nonocclusive thrombi involving the right portal vein, the splenic vein, and the left renal vein, as well as complete occlusion of the left portal vein and the superior mesenteric vein. We discuss pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and management of both acute and chronic thrombosis. The presence of PVT should be considered as a clue for prothrombotic disorders, liver disease, and other local and general factors that must be carefully investigated. It is hoped that this case report will help increase awareness of the complexity associated with portal vein thrombosis among the medical community.
PMID: 25802795
ISSN: 2090-6986
CID: 1520812

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy in the Setting of Tension Pneumothorax

Gale, Michael; Loarte, Pablo; Mirrer, Brooks; Mallet, Thierry; Salciccioli, Louis; Petrie, Alison; Cohen, Ronny
Background. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is defined as a transient left ventricular dysfunction, usually accompanied by electrocardiographic changes. The literature documents only two other cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy in the latter setting. Methods. A 78-year-old female presented to the ED with severe shortness of breath, hypertension, and tachycardia. On physical exam, heart sounds (S1 and S2) were regular and wheezing was noticed bilaterally. We found laboratory results with a WBC of 20.0 (103/muL), troponin of 16.52 ng/mL, CK-mb of 70.6%, and BNP of 177 pg/mL. The patient was intubated for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. A chest X-ray revealed a large left-sided tension pneumothorax. Initial echocardiogram showed apical ballooning with a LVEF of 10-15%. A cardiac angiography revealed normal coronary arteries with no coronary disease. After supportive treatment, the patient's condition improved with a subsequent echocardiogram showing a LVEF of 60%. Conclusion. The patient was found to have Takotsubo cardiomyopathy in the setting of a tension pneumothorax. The exact mechanisms of ventricular dysfunction have not been clarified. However, multivessel coronary spasm or catecholamine cardiotoxicity has been suggested to have a causative role. We suggest that, in our patient, left ventricular dysfunction was induced by the latter mechanism related to the stress associated with acute pneumothorax.
PMID: 26366307
ISSN: 2090-6420
CID: 1778122