Korean J Transplant.  2021 Dec;35(4):247-252. 10.4285/kjt.21.0030.

An analysis of the number of liver and kidney transplantations during COVID-19 pandemic in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Organ Transplantation Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
The severity of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has discouraged organ donation. However, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Korea was much lower in comparison to Western countries. With this, the authors decided to determine the real-world impact of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplantation in Korea.
Methods
The number of kidney transplantations (KTs) and liver transplantations (LTs) performed in 2020 were compared with those in 2019 using the Korean Network for Organ Sharing database and Asan Medical Center (AMC) database.
Results
The annual number of deceased donors (DDs) was 450 in 2019 compared to 478 in 2020. Monthly DD number was 37.5±5.9 in 2019 and 39.8±4.4 in 2020 (P=0.284). Annual number of DD kidney transplant (DDKT) was 794 in 2019 and 848 in 2020, and monthly number was 66.1±10.4 in 2019 and 70.7±9.8 in 2020 (P=0.285). The annual number of DDLT was 391 in 2019 and 395 in 2020, and the monthly number was 32.6±5.7, 2019 and 32.9±4.7 in 2020 (P=0.877). The annual number of living donor (LD) KT was 2,293 in 2019 and 1,432 in 2020, and the monthly number was 191.1±19.5 in 2019 and 119.3±11.7 in 2020 (P<0.001). Annual number of living donor LDLT was 1,577 in 2019 and 1,146 in 2020, and monthly number was 131.4±18.1 in 2019 and 95.5±8.0 in 2020 (P<0.001). In the AMC, not all types of KT and LT changed significantly.
Conclusions
The results of this study indicate that the number of DD organ transplantations remained stable in Korea in 2020, but the number of LD organ transplantations was significantly reduced. However, the number of organ transplantations did not change in the AMC.

Keyword

COVID-19; Deceased donor; Living donor; Organ transplantation; Donation promotion
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