J Clin Med. 2020 Aug 18;9(8):E2665. doi: 10.3390/jcm9082665.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to frequent referrals to the emergency department on suspicion of this infection in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) and kidney transplant (KT) patients. We aimed to describe their clinical features comparing confirmed and suspected non-confirmed COVID-19 cases during the Spanish epidemic peak. Confirmed COVID-19 ((+)COVID-19) corresponds to patient with positive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 assay. Non-confirmed COVID-19 ((-)COVID-19) corresponds to patients with negative RT-PCR. COVID-19 was suspected in 61 patients (40/803 KT (4.9%), 21/220 MHD (9.5%)). Prevalence of (+)COVID-19 was 3.2% in KT and 3.6% in MHD patients. Thirty-four (26 KT and 8 MHD) were (+)COVID-19 and 27 (14 KT and 13 MHD) (-)COVID-19. In comparison with (-)COVID-19 patients, (+)COVID-19 showed higher frequency of typical viral symptoms (cough, dyspnea, asthenia and myalgias), pneumonia (88.2% vs. 14.3%) and LDH and CRP while lower phosphate levels, need of hospital admission (100% vs. 63%), use of non-invasive mechanical ventilation (36% vs. 11%) and mortality (38% vs. 0%) (p < 0.001). Time from symptoms onset to admission was longer in patients who finally died than in survivors (8.5 vs. 3.8, p = 0.007). In KT and MHD patients, (+)COVID-19 shows more clinical severity than suspected non-confirmed cases. Prompt RT-PCR is mandatory to confirm COVID-19 diagnosis.