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1.
Exp Physiol ; 107(7): 759-770, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909549

##### ABSTRACT

NEW FINDINGS: What is the topic of this review? The use of proning for improving pulmonary gas exchange in critically ill patients. What advances does it highlight? Proning places the lung in its 'natural' posture, and thus optimises the ventilation-perfusion distribution, which enables lung protective ventilation and the alleviation of potentially life-threatening hypoxaemia in COVID-19 and other types of critical illness with respiratory failure. ABSTRACT: The survival benefit of proning patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is well established and has recently been found to improve pulmonary gas exchange in patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS (CARDS). This review outlines the physiological implications of transitioning from supine to prone on alveolar ventilation-perfusion ( V Ì A -- Q Ì ${\dot V_{\rm{A}}}\hbox{--}\dot Q$ ) relationships during spontaneous breathing and during general anaesthesia in the healthy state, as well as during invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with ARDS and CARDS. Spontaneously breathing, awake healthy individuals maintain a small vertical (ventral-to-dorsal) V Ì A / Q Ì ${\dot V_{\rm{A}}}/\dot Q$ ratio gradient in the supine position, which is largely neutralised in the prone position, mainly through redistribution of perfusion. In anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated healthy individuals, a vertical V Ì A / Q Ì ${\dot V_{\rm{A}}}/\dot Q$ ratio gradient is present in both postures, but with better V Ì A -- Q Ì ${\dot V_{\rm{A}}}\hbox{--}\dot Q$ matching in the prone position. In ARDS and CARDS, the vertical V Ì A / Q Ì ${\dot V_{\rm{A}}}/\dot Q$ ratio gradient in the supine position becomes larger, with intrapulmonary shunting in gravitationally dependent lung regions due to compression atelectasis of the dorsal lung. This is counteracted by proning, mainly through a more homogeneous distribution of ventilation combined with a largely unaffected high perfusion dorsally, and a consequent substantial improvement in arterial oxygenation. The data regarding proning as a therapy in patients with CARDS is still limited and whether the associated improvement in arterial oxygenation translates to a survival benefit remains unknown. Proning is nonetheless an attractive and lung protective manoeuvre with the potential benefit of improving life-threatening hypoxaemia in patients with ARDS and CARDS.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Respiratory Insufficiency , Humans , Hypoxia/therapy , Prone Position/physiology , Pulmonary Gas Exchange/physiology , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy
2.
Intensive Care Med ; 48(5): 580-589, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797659

##### ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We assessed long-term outcomes of dexamethasone 12 mg versus 6 mg given daily for up to 10 days in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe hypoxaemia. METHODS: We assessed 180-day mortality and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using EuroQoL (EQ)-5D-5L index values and EQ visual analogue scale (VAS) in the international, stratified, blinded COVID STEROID 2 trial, which randomised 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 receiving at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation in 26 hospitals in Europe and India. In the HRQoL analyses, higher values indicated better outcomes, and deceased patients were given a score of zero. RESULTS: We obtained vital status at 180 days for 963 of 982 patients (98.1%) in the intention-to-treat population, EQ-5D-5L index value data for 922 (93.9%) and EQ VAS data for 924 (94.1%). At 180 days, 164 of 486 patients (33.7%) had died in the 12 mg group versus 184 of 477 (38.6%) in the 6 mg group [adjusted risk difference - 4.3%; 99% confidence interval (CI) - 11.7-3.0; relative risk 0.89; 0.72-1.09; P = 0.13]. The adjusted mean differences between the 12 mg and the 6 mg groups in EQ-5D-5L index values were 0.06 (99% CI - 0.01 to 0.12; P = 0.10) and in EQ VAS scores 4 (- 3 to 10; P = 0.22). CONCLUSION: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxaemia, dexamethasone 12 mg compared with 6 mg did not result in statistically significant improvements in mortality or HRQoL at 180 days, but the results were most compatible with benefit from the higher dose.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dexamethasone , Hypoxia , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Hypoxia/complications , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Patient Acuity , Quality of Life , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
3.
Intensive Care Med ; 48(1): 45-55, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605102

##### ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We compared dexamethasone 12 versus 6 mg daily for up to 10 days in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe hypoxaemia in the international, randomised, blinded COVID STEROID 2 trial. In the primary, conventional analyses, the predefined statistical significance thresholds were not reached. We conducted a pre-planned Bayesian analysis to facilitate probabilistic interpretation. METHODS: We analysed outcome data within 90 days in the intention-to-treat population (data available in 967 to 982 patients) using Bayesian models with various sensitivity analyses. Results are presented as median posterior probabilities with 95% credible intervals (CrIs) and probabilities of different effect sizes with 12 mg dexamethasone. RESULTS: The adjusted mean difference on days alive without life support at day 28 (primary outcome) was 1.3 days (95% CrI -0.3 to 2.9; 94.2% probability of benefit). Adjusted relative risks and probabilities of benefit on serious adverse reactions was 0.85 (0.63 to 1.16; 84.1%) and on mortality 0.87 (0.73 to 1.03; 94.8%) at day 28 and 0.88 (0.75 to 1.02; 95.1%) at day 90. Probabilities of benefit on days alive without life support and days alive out of hospital at day 90 were 85 and 95.7%, respectively. Results were largely consistent across sensitivity analyses, with relatively low probabilities of clinically important harm with 12 mg on all outcomes in all analyses. CONCLUSION: We found high probabilities of benefit and low probabilities of clinically important harm with dexamethasone 12 mg versus 6 mg daily in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxaemia on all outcomes up to 90 days.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone , Humans , Hypoxia , SARS-CoV-2 , Steroids
4.
JAMA ; 326(18): 1807-1817, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527380

##### ABSTRACT

Importance: A daily dose with 6 mg of dexamethasone is recommended for up to 10 days in patients with severe and critical COVID-19, but a higher dose may benefit those with more severe disease. Objective: To assess the effects of 12 mg/d vs 6 mg/d of dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia. Design, Setting, and Participants: A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was conducted between August 2020 and May 2021 at 26 hospitals in Europe and India and included 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 requiring at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. End of 90-day follow-up was on August 19, 2021. Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 to 12 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 503) or 6 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 497) for up to 10 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support (invasive mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, or kidney replacement therapy) at 28 days and was adjusted for stratification variables. Of the 8 prespecified secondary outcomes, 5 are included in this analysis (the number of days alive without life support at 90 days, the number of days alive out of the hospital at 90 days, mortality at 28 days and at 90 days, and ≥1 serious adverse reactions at 28 days). Results: Of the 1000 randomized patients, 982 were included (median age, 65 [IQR, 55-73] years; 305 [31%] women) and primary outcome data were available for 971 (491 in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 480 in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group). The median number of days alive without life support was 22.0 days (IQR, 6.0-28.0 days) in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 20.5 days (IQR, 4.0-28.0 days) in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted mean difference, 1.3 days [95% CI, 0-2.6 days]; P = .07). Mortality at 28 days was 27.1% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 32.3% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.86 [99% CI, 0.68-1.08]). Mortality at 90 days was 32.0% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 37.7% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.87 [99% CI, 0.70-1.07]). Serious adverse reactions, including septic shock and invasive fungal infections, occurred in 11.3% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 13.4% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.83 [99% CI, 0.54-1.29]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia, 12 mg/d of dexamethasone compared with 6 mg/d of dexamethasone did not result in statistically significantly more days alive without life support at 28 days. However, the trial may have been underpowered to identify a significant difference. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04509973 and ctri.nic.in Identifier: CTRI/2020/10/028731.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Life Support Care , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Glucocorticoids/adverse effects , Humans , Hypoxia/etiology , Hypoxia/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Mycoses/etiology , Respiration, Artificial , Shock, Septic/etiology , Single-Blind Method
5.
JAMA ; 326(18): 1807-1817, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482066

##### ABSTRACT

Importance: A daily dose with 6 mg of dexamethasone is recommended for up to 10 days in patients with severe and critical COVID-19, but a higher dose may benefit those with more severe disease. Objective: To assess the effects of 12 mg/d vs 6 mg/d of dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia. Design, Setting, and Participants: A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was conducted between August 2020 and May 2021 at 26 hospitals in Europe and India and included 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 requiring at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. End of 90-day follow-up was on August 19, 2021. Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 to 12 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 503) or 6 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 497) for up to 10 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support (invasive mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, or kidney replacement therapy) at 28 days and was adjusted for stratification variables. Of the 8 prespecified secondary outcomes, 5 are included in this analysis (the number of days alive without life support at 90 days, the number of days alive out of the hospital at 90 days, mortality at 28 days and at 90 days, and ≥1 serious adverse reactions at 28 days). Results: Of the 1000 randomized patients, 982 were included (median age, 65 [IQR, 55-73] years; 305 [31%] women) and primary outcome data were available for 971 (491 in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 480 in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group). The median number of days alive without life support was 22.0 days (IQR, 6.0-28.0 days) in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 20.5 days (IQR, 4.0-28.0 days) in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted mean difference, 1.3 days [95% CI, 0-2.6 days]; P = .07). Mortality at 28 days was 27.1% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 32.3% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.86 [99% CI, 0.68-1.08]). Mortality at 90 days was 32.0% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 37.7% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.87 [99% CI, 0.70-1.07]). Serious adverse reactions, including septic shock and invasive fungal infections, occurred in 11.3% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 13.4% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.83 [99% CI, 0.54-1.29]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia, 12 mg/d of dexamethasone compared with 6 mg/d of dexamethasone did not result in statistically significantly more days alive without life support at 28 days. However, the trial may have been underpowered to identify a significant difference. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04509973 and ctri.nic.in Identifier: CTRI/2020/10/028731.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Life Support Care , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Glucocorticoids/adverse effects , Humans , Hypoxia/etiology , Hypoxia/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Mycoses/etiology , Respiration, Artificial , Shock, Septic/etiology , Single-Blind Method
6.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(10): 1497-1504, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327500

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) primarily affects the lungs and lower airways and may present as hypoxaemic respiratory failure requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) for supportive treatment. Here, supplemental oxygen remains essential for COVID-19 patient management, but the optimal dosage is not defined. We hypothesize that targeting an arterial partial pressure of oxygen of 8 kPa throughout ICU admission is superior to targeting 12 kPa. METHODS: The Handling Oxygenation Targets in ICU patients with COVID-19 (HOT-COVID) trial, is an investigator-initiated, pragmatic, multicentre, randomized, parallel-group trial comparing a lower oxygenation target versus a higher oxygenation target in adult ICU patients with COVID-19. The primary outcome is days alive without life-support (use of mechanical ventilation, renal replacement therapy or vasoactive therapy) at day 90. Secondary outcomes are 90-day and 1-year mortality, serious adverse events in the ICU and days alive and out of hospital in the 90-day period, health-related quality-of-life at 1 year, and health economic analyses. One-year follow-up of cognitive and pulmonary function is planned in a subgroup of Danish patients. We will include 780 patients to detect or reject an absolute increase in days alive without life-support of 7 days with an α of 5% and a ß of 20%. An interim analysis is planned after 90-day follow-up of 390 patients. CONCLUSIONS: The HOT-COVID trial will provide patient-important data on the effect of two oxygenation targets in ICU patients with COVID-19 and hypoxia. This protocol paper describes the background, design and statistical analysis plan for the trial.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Lung , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Treatment Outcome
7.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(10): 1421-1430, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273068

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the early phase of the pandemic, some guidelines recommended the use of corticosteroids for critically ill patients with COVID-19, whereas others recommended against the use despite lack of firm evidence of either benefit or harm. In the COVID STEROID trial, we aimed to assess the effects of low-dose hydrocortisone on patient-centred outcomes in adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. METHODS: In this multicentre, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, blinded, centrally randomised, stratified clinical trial, we randomly assigned adults with confirmed COVID-19 and severe hypoxia (use of mechanical ventilation or supplementary oxygen with a flow of at least 10 L/min) to either hydrocortisone (200 mg/d) vs a matching placebo for 7 days or until hospital discharge. The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support at day 28 after randomisation. RESULTS: The trial was terminated early when 30 out of 1000 participants had been enrolled because of external evidence indicating benefit from corticosteroids in severe COVID-19. At day 28, the median number of days alive without life support in the hydrocortisone vs placebo group were 7 vs 10 (adjusted mean difference: -1.1 days, 95% CI -9.5 to 7.3, P = .79); mortality was 6/16 vs 2/14; and the number of serious adverse reactions 1/16 vs 0/14. CONCLUSIONS: In this trial of adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia, we were unable to provide precise estimates of the benefits and harms of hydrocortisone as compared with placebo as only 3% of the planned sample size were enrolled. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04348305. European Union Drug Regulation Authorities Clinical Trials (EudraCT) Database: 2020-001395-15.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydrocortisone , Adult , Humans , Hypoxia , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
8.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(6): 770-777, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105177

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be associated with cardiac arrhythmias in hospitalized patients, but data from the ICU setting are limited. We aimed to describe the epidemiology of cardiac arrhythmias in ICU patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort study including all ICU patients with an airway sample positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome corona-virus 2 from March 1st to June 1st in the Capital Region of Denmark (1.8 million inhabitants). We registered cardiac arrhythmias in ICU, potential risk factors, interventions used in ICU and outcomes. RESULTS: From the seven ICUs we included 155 patients with COVID-19. The incidence of cardiac arrhythmias in the ICU was 57/155 (37%, 95% confidence interval 30-45), and 39/57 (68%) of these patients had this as new-onset arrhythmia. Previous history of tachyarrhythmias and higher disease severity at ICU admission were associated with cardiac arrhythmias in the adjusted analysis. Fifty-four of the 57 (95%) patients had supraventricular origin of the arrhythmia, 39/57 (68%) received at least one intervention against arrhythmia (eg amiodarone, IV fluid or magnesium) and 38/57 (67%) had recurrent episodes of arrhythmia in ICU. Patients with arrhythmias in ICU had higher 60-day mortality (63%) as compared to those without arrhythmias (39%). CONCLUSION: New-onset supraventricular arrhythmias were frequent in ICU patients with COVID-19 and were related to previous history of tachyarrhythmias and severity of the acute disease. The mortality was high in these patients despite the frequent use of interventions against arrhythmias.

##### Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Critical Illness , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Denmark/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Incidence , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardial Ischemia/epidemiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Recurrence , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
9.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(5): 702-710, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081822

##### ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to severe hypoxic respiratory failure and death. Corticosteroids decrease mortality in severely or critically ill patients with COVID-19. However, the optimal dose remains unresolved. The ongoing randomised COVID STEROID 2 trial investigates the effects of higher vs lower doses of dexamethasone (12 vs 6 mg intravenously daily for up to 10 days) in 1,000 adult patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. METHODS: This protocol outlines the rationale and statistical methods for a secondary, pre-planned Bayesian analysis of the primary outcome (days alive without life support at day 28) and all secondary outcomes registered up to day 90. We will use hurdle-negative binomial models to estimate the mean number of days alive without life support in each group and present results as mean differences and incidence rate ratios with 95% credibility intervals (CrIs). Additional count outcomes will be analysed similarly and binary outcomes will be analysed using logistic regression models with results presented as probabilities, relative risks and risk differences with 95% CrIs. We will present probabilities of any benefit/harm, clinically important benefit/harm and probabilities of effects smaller than pre-defined clinically minimally important differences for all outcomes analysed. Analyses will be adjusted for stratification variables and conducted using weakly informative priors supplemented by sensitivity analyses using sceptic priors. DISCUSSION: This secondary, pre-planned Bayesian analysis will supplement the primary, conventional analysis and may help clinicians, researchers and policymakers interpret the results of the COVID STEROID 2 trial while avoiding arbitrarily dichotomised interpretations of the results. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04509973; EudraCT: 2020-003363-25.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Humans
10.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 64(9): 1365-1375, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-671325

##### ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 has caused a pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with many patients developing hypoxic respiratory failure. Corticosteroids reduce the time on mechanical ventilation, length of stay in the intensive care unit and potentially also mortality in similar patient populations. However, corticosteroids have undesirable effects, including longer time to viral clearance. Clinical equipoise on the use of corticosteroids for COVID-19 exists. METHODS: The COVID STEROID trial is an international, randomised, stratified, blinded clinical trial. We will allocate 1000 adult patients with COVID-19 receiving ≥10 L/min of oxygen or on mechanical ventilation to intravenous hydrocortisone 200 mg daily vs placebo (0.9% saline) for 7 days. The primary outcome is days alive without life support (ie mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, and renal replacement therapy) at day 28. Secondary outcomes are serious adverse reactions at day 14; days alive without life support at day 90; days alive and out of hospital at day 90; all-cause mortality at day 28, day 90, and 1 year; and health-related quality of life at 1 year. We will conduct the statistical analyses according to this protocol, including interim analyses for every 250 patients followed for 28 days. The primary outcome will be compared using the Kryger Jensen and Lange test in the intention to treat population and reported as differences in means and medians with 95% confidence intervals. DISCUSSION: The COVID STEROID trial will provide important evidence to guide the use of corticosteroids in COVID-19 and severe hypoxia.

##### Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydrocortisone/therapeutic use , Hypoxia/complications , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Research Design , Adult , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Treatment Outcome