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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3389/FIMMU.2021.598799

Upregulated IL-6 Indicates a Poor COVID-19 Prognosis: A Call for Tocilizumab and Convalescent Plasma Treatment.

04 Mar 2021-Frontiers in Immunology (Frontiers Media SA)-Vol. 12, pp 598799-598799
Abstract: A comprehensive understanding of the dynamic changes in interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels is essential for monitoring and treating patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). By analyzing the correlations between IL-6 levels and health conditions, underlying diseases, several key laboratory detection indices, and the prognosis of 1,473 patients with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the role of IL-6 during SARS-CoV-2 infection was demonstrated. Our results indicated that IL-6 levels were closely related to age, sex, body temperature, oxygen saturation (SpO2) of blood, and underlying diseases. As a stable indicator, the changes in IL-6 levels could indicate the inflammatory conditions during a viral infection. Two specific treatments, namely, tocilizumab and convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), decreased the level of IL-6 and relieved inflammation. CPT has an important role in the therapy for patients with critical COVID-19. We also found that patients with IL-6 levels, which were 30-fold higher than the normal level, had a poor prognosis compared to patients with lower levels of IL-6.

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Topics: Tocilizumab (52%)
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9 results found


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.04.07.21255089
10 Apr 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with Convalescent Plasma (CCP) via the Expanded Access Program (EAP) and the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), leading to the use of CCP in some 500,000 patients during the first year of the pandemic. We tracked the number of CCP units dispensed to hospitals by blood banking organizations and correlated that usage with hospital admission and mortality data over the course of the year. CCP usage per admission peaked after issuance of the EUA, with more than 40% of inpatients estimated to have received CCP between late September and early November 2020. However, following reports of randomized controlled trials that failed to show clear benefit from CCP, usage/admissions declined steadily to a nadir of less than 10% in March 2021. We found a strong inverse correlation (Pearson’s correlation coefficient of -0.5176 with P = 0.00242) between CCP usage/hospital admission and deaths occurring two weeks after admission, and this finding was robust to examination of deaths taking place one, two or three weeks after admission. Changes in the number of hospital admissions, prevalence of variants, and age of patients could not explain these findings. We estimate that the retreat from CCP usage, a phenomenon we termed ‘plasma hesitancy’, might have resulted in 29,000 to 36,000 excess deaths in the period from mid-November 2020 to February 2021. These results highlight the need for additional studies to ascertain the variables associated with efficacy and/or provide other explanations for the robust relationships observed in this study.

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8 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.7554/ELIFE.69866
04 Jun 2021-eLife
Abstract: Background: The US Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients via the Expanded Access Program (EAP) and the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), leading to use in about 500,000 patients during the first year of the pandemic for the USA. Methods: We tracked the number of CCP units dispensed to hospitals by blood banking organizations and correlated that usage with hospital admission and mortality data. Results: CCP usage per admission peaked in Fall 2020, with more than 40% of inpatients estimated to have received CCP between late September and early November 2020. However, after randomized controlled trials failed to show a reduction in mortality, CCP usage per admission declined steadily to a nadir of less than 10% in March 2021. We found a strong inverse correlation (r = -0.52, p=0.002) between CCP usage per hospital admission and deaths occurring 2 weeks after admission, and this finding was robust to examination of deaths taking place 1, 2, or 3 weeks after admission. Changes in the number of hospital admissions, SARS-CoV-2 variants, and age of patients could not explain these findings. The retreat from CCP usage might have resulted in as many as 29,000 excess deaths from mid-November 2020 to February 2021. Conclusions: A strong inverse correlation between CCP use and mortality per admission in the USA provides population-level evidence consistent with the notion that CCP reduces mortality in COVID-19 and suggests that the recent decline in usage could have resulted in excess deaths. Funding: There was no specific funding for this study. AC was supported in part by RO1 HL059842 and R01 AI1520789; MJJ was supported in part by 5R35HL139854. This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under Contract No. 75A50120C00096.

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4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1556/030.2021.01526
Abstract: Large randomized clinical trials in severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have proven efficacy of intravenous tocilizumab. Our aim was to describe the laboratory parameters predicting in-hospital mortality of patients with tocilizumab administration in COVID-19 associated cytokine release syndrome (CRS).We evaluated high-dose (8 mg/kg) intravenous tocilizumab administration in severe and critically ill COVID-19 adult patients fulfilling predefined strict CRS criteria. A single-centre, prospective, observational cohort study was carried out among consecutive adult (≥18 years of age) in-patients with COVID-19 between April 1 and December 31, 2020. The primary endpoint was 28-day all-cause mortality. The changes in laboratory parameters from baseline on day 7 and 14 after administration of tocilizumab were analysed.In total, 1801 patients were admitted to our centre during the study period. One hundred and six patients received tocilizumab, and among them 62 (58.5%) required intensive care unit admittance while 25 (23.6%) deceased. At day 7 after tocilizumab administration, inflammatory markers (CRP, IL-6, ferritin) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) values were significantly lower among survivors. Subsequently, at day 14, differences of IL-6 and LDH levels has become more pronounced between subgroups. Restoration of absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) by day 7 and 14 was insufficient among patients who died.In our cohort, administration of high-dose tocilizumab for COVID-19 patients with CRS demonstrated clinical and sustained biochemical parameter improvement in 76.4%. In this patient population high and increasing LDH, IL-6, and low ALC levels had a predictive role for mortality.

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Topics: Tocilizumab (57%)

2 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S10787-021-00850-7
Abstract: The pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is instigated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that is mainly transmitted via the inhalation route and characterized by fever, coughing and shortness of breath. COVID-19 affects all age groups with no single cure. The drug discovery, manufacturing, and safety studies require extensive time and sources and, therefore, struggled to match the exponential spread of COVID-19. Yet, various repurposed drugs (antivirals, immune-modulators, nucleotide analogues), and convalescent plasma therapy have been authorized for emergency use against COVID-19 by Food and Drug Administration under certain limits and conditions. The discovery of vaccine is the biggest milestone achieved during the current pandemic era. About nine vaccines were developed for human use with varying claims of efficacy. The rapid emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2, suspected adverse drug reactions of current therapies in special population groups and limited availability of drugs in developing countries necessitate the development of more efficacious, safe and cheap drugs/vaccines for treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Keeping in view these limitations, the current review provides an update on the efficacy and safety of the repurposed, and natural drugs to treat COVID-19 as well as the vaccines used for its prophylaxis.

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1 Citations



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39 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30183-5
Chaolin Huang1, Yeming Wang2, Xingwang Li3, Lili Ren4  +25 moreInstitutions (8)
24 Jan 2020-The Lancet
Abstract: A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not.

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26,390 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30628-0
Puja Mehta1, Daniel F. McAuley2, Michael Brown3, Emilie Sanchez3  +3 moreInstitutions (5)
28 Mar 2020-The Lancet
Abstract: www.thelancet.com Published online March 13, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30628-0 1 Submissions should be made via our electronic submission system at http://ees.elsevier.com/ thelancet/ However, in hyperinflammation, immunosuppression is likely to be beneficial. Re-analysis of data from a phase 3 randomised controlled trial of IL-1 blockade (anakinra) in sepsis, showed significant survival benefit in patients with hyperinflammation, without increased adverse events. A multicentre, randomised con trolled trial of tocilizumab (IL-6 receptor blockade, licensed for cytokine release syndrome), has been approved in patients with COVID-19: consider cytokine storm syndromes and immunosuppression

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5,489 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2020.3786
Wenling Wang1, Yanli Xu2, Ruqin Gao3, Roujian Lu1  +3 moreInstitutions (3)
12 May 2020-JAMA
Abstract: This study describes results of PCR and viral RNA testing for SARS-CoV-2 in bronchoalveolar fluid, sputum, feces, blood, and urine specimens from patients with COVID-19 infection in China to identify possible means of non-respiratory transmission.

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Topics: Sputum (52%)

3,365 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41569-020-0360-5
Abstract: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects host cells through ACE2 receptors, leading to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related pneumonia, while also causing acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system. Therefore, particular attention should be given to cardiovascular protection during treatment for COVID-19.

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Topics: Coronavirus (60%), Pneumonia (53%)

1,906 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30116-8
Lei Fang1, George Karakiulakis2, Michael Roth1Institutions (2)
Abstract: The most distinctive comorbidities of 32 non-survivors from a group of 52 intensive care unit patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the study by Xiaobo Yang and colleagues were cerebro vascular diseases (22%) and diabetes (22%). Another study included 1099 patients with confirmed COVID-19, of whom 173 had severe disease with comorbidities of hypertension (23·7%), diabetes mellitus (16·2%), coronary heart diseases (5·8%), and cerebrovascular disease (2·3%). In a third study, of 140 patients who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, 30% had hypertension and 12% had diabetes. Notably, the most frequent comorbidities reported in these three studies of patients with COVID-19 are often treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; however, treatment was not assessed in either study. Human pathogenic coronaviruses (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV] and SARSCoV-2) bind to their target cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is expressed by epithelial cells of the lung, intestine, kidney, and blood vessels. The expression of ACE2 is substantially increased in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who are treated with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II type-I receptor blockers (ARBs). Hypertension is also treated with ACE inhibitors and ARBs, which results in an upregulation of ACE2. ACE2 can also be increased by thiazolidinediones and ibuprofen. These data suggest that ACE2 expression is increased in diabetes and treatment with ACE inhibitors and ARBs increases ACE2 expression. Consequently, the increased expression of ACE2 would facilitate infection with COVID-19. We therefore hypothesise that diabetes and hypertension treatment with ACE2-stimulating drugs increases the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19. If this hypothesis were to be confirmed, it could lead to a conflict regarding treatment because ACE2 reduces inflammation and has been suggested as a potential new therapy for inflammatory lung diseases, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. A further aspect that should be investigated is the genetic predisposition for an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which might be due to ACE2 polymorphisms that have been linked to diabetes mellitus, cerebral stroke, and hypertension, specifically in Asian populations. Summarising this information, the sensitivity of an individual might result from a combination of both therapy and ACE2 polymorphism. We suggest that patients with cardiac diseases, hypertension, or diabetes, who are treated with ACE2increasing drugs, are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 infection and, therefore, should be monitored for ACE2-modulating medications, such as ACE inhibitors or ARBs. Based on a PubMed search on Feb 28, 2020, we did not find any evidence to suggest that antihypertensive calcium channel blockers increased ACE2 expression or activity, therefore these could be a suitable alternative treatment in these patients. We declare no competing interests.

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Topics: Diabetes mellitus (56%)

1,885 Citations


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