Transplant Trial Watch

The Impact of COVID-19 Global Pandemic on Morbidity and Mortality of Liver Transplant Recipients Children and Adults: A Systematic Review of Case Series.

Gavriilidis, P. and M. Pai

Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 2020; 12(7): 404-408.

The aim of this study was to summarise the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) global pandemic on liver transplant patients.

Electronic databases including EMBASE, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (PubMed) and Google Scholar were searched from inception until April 2020.

5 articles were included in the review.

The main outcomes of interest were morbidity and mortality of liver transplant patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.


CET Conclusions
This systematic review is an early attempt at summarising the impact of COVID-19 on liver transplant recipients. The authors identified five case-series, mainly in paediatric recipients, concluding that mortality was lower in liver transplant recipients than the general population. There are multiple issues here. Firstly, the review is dominated by one paediatric study that provides 700 of the 854 patients analysed – as COVID-19 demonstrates lower mortality in children, it is perhaps not surprising that an analysis dominated by paediatric patients demonstrates low mortality. The evidence around COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving field, and searches were only performed to April 2020. Attempts such as this at reviewing the literature are usually out-of-date and incomplete by the time they have been through the peer-review and publication process, and so are really of little use. There is a real need for either more rapid editorial policies, or the ability for constant updating of “living” reviews to address this issue in fast-moving areas.

Quality notes
SR-QA not applicable

Trial registration

Funding source
No funding received