Osman Aydın1, Muhammet Kadri Çolakoğlu1, Volkan Öter1, Yiğit Mehmet Özgün1, Erol Pişkin1, Derya Arı2, Meral Akdoğan Kayhan2, Mehmet Mahir Özmen3, Erdal Birol Bostancı1

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Health Sciences University, Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
2Department of Gastroenterology, Health Sciences University, Ankara City Hospital, Ankara, Türkiye
3Department of Surgery, İstinye University Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Türkiye


Objective: In this paper, it was tried to determine the incidence of COVID-19, course of the disease, and mortality rate in liver transplant patients by evaluating all patients operated on in our center. In addition, the results of liver transplantation performed in our center during the pandemic period were also presented.

Material and Methods: All patients who had undergone liver transplantation in our liver transplant center were questioned about their history of COVID-19 either at their routine controls in the clinic or by phone interview.

Results: Our liver transplant unit had 195 registered liver transplantation patients (2002-2020), and 142 of these were still alive and under follow-up. During the pandemic period, 80 patients referred to our outpatient clinic for follow-up, and their records were evaluated retrospectively in January 2021. Among 142 liver transplant patients, a total of 18 (12.6%) COVID-19 patients were identified. While 13 of these patients were males, mean age of the patients at the time of interviews was 48.8 years (22-65 years). Nine of the patients had living donor liver transplant, and the rest had cadaveric liver transplant. The most common COVID-19 associated symptom in the patients was fever. During the pandemic period, 12 liver transplant operations were performed in our center. Nine of them were living donor liver transplantation and the remainder were cadaveric liver transplantations. Two of our patients got COVID-19 positive during this period. One of them who was transplanted after COVID treatment was followed-up in intesive care for a long time and was lost not related to COVID-19.

Conclusion: The incidence of COVID-19 is higher in liver transplant patients than in the general population. Nonetheless, mortality rates are low. During the pandemic period, liver transplantation can be continued by following general precautions.

Keywords: COVID-19 infection, liver transplantation, clinical course

Cite this article as: Aydın O, Çolakoğlu MK, Öter V, Özgün YM, Pişkin E, Arı D, et al. COVID-19 infection frequency and clinical course in patients with liver transplantation: Results of a single transplant center in Türkiye. Turk J Surg 2022; 38 (3): 283-288.


Ethics Committee Approval

This study was approved by Ankara City Hospital No. 1 Clinical Research and Ethics Committee (Decision no: E1/1694/2021, Date: 31.03.2021).

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept – M.K.Ç., O.A., D.A., E.B.B.; Design – M.K.Ç., O.A., D.A.; Supervision – M.A.K., E.B.B., M.M.Ö.; Materials – O.A., Y.M.Ö., D.A.; Data Collection and/or Processing – Y.M.Ö., E.P., D.A., M.A.K.; Literature Search – M.K.Ç., D.A.; Writing Manuscript – M.K.Ç., O.A., V.Ö.; Critical Reviews – M.A.K., E.B.B., M.M.Ö.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.