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J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(6): 2098-2107, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269289


BACKGROUND: Markedly elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines and defective type-I interferon responses were reported in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether particular cytokine profiles are associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality. METHODS: Cytokine concentrations and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antigen were measured at hospital admission in serum of symptomatic patients with COVID-19 (N = 115), classified at hospitalization into 3 respiratory severity groups: no need for mechanical ventilatory support (No-MVS), intermediate severity requiring mechanical ventilatory support (MVS), and critical severity requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Principal-component analysis was used to characterize cytokine profiles associated with severity and mortality. The results were thereafter confirmed in an independent validation cohort (N = 86). RESULTS: At time of hospitalization, ECMO patients presented a dominant proinflammatory response with elevated levels of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10. In contrast, an elevated type-I interferon response involving IFN-α and IFN-ß was characteristic of No-MVS patients, whereas MVS patients exhibited both profiles. Mortality at 1 month was associated with higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines in ECMO patients, higher levels of type-I interferons in No-MVS patients, and their combination in MVS patients, resulting in a combined mortality prediction accuracy of 88.5% (risk ratio, 24.3; P < .0001). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antigen levels correlated with type-I interferon levels and were associated with mortality, but not with proinflammatory response or severity. CONCLUSIONS: Distinct cytokine profiles are observed in association with COVID-19 severity and are differentially predictive of mortality according to oxygen support modalities. These results warrant personalized treatment of COVID-19 patients based on cytokine profiling.

COVID-19 , Cytokines/immunology , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged