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J Infect ; 2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914623


BACKGROUND: Procalcitonin (PCT) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) are useful biomarkers to differentiate bacterial from viral or fungal infections, although the association between them and co-infection or mortality in COVID-19 remains unclear. METHODS: The study represents a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted for COVID-19 pneumonia to 84 ICUs from ten countries between (March 2020-January 2021). Primary outcome was to determine whether PCT or CRP at admission could predict community-acquired bacterial respiratory co-infection (BC) and its added clinical value by determining the best discriminating cut-off values. Secondary outcome was to investigate its association with mortality. To evaluate the main outcome, a binary logistic regression was performed. The area under the curve evaluated diagnostic performance for BC prediction. RESULTS: 4635 patients were included, 7.6% fulfilled BC diagnosis. PCT (0.25[IQR 0.1-0.7] versus 0.20[IQR 0.1-0.5]ng/mL, p<0.001) and CRP (14.8[IQR 8.2-23.8] versus 13.3 [7-21.7]mg/dL, p=0.01) were higher in BC group. Neither PCT nor CRP were independently associated with BC and both had a poor ability to predict BC (AUC for PCT 0.56, for CRP 0.54). Baseline values of PCT<0.3ng/mL, could be helpful to rule out BC (negative predictive value 91.1%) and PCT≥0.50ng/mL was associated with ICU mortality (OR 1.5,p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These biomarkers at ICU admission led to a poor ability to predict BC among patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Baseline values of PCT<0.3ng/mL may be useful to rule out BC, providing clinicians a valuable tool to guide antibiotic stewardship and allowing the unjustified overuse of antibiotics observed during the pandemic, additionally PCT≥0.50ng/mL might predict worsening outcomes.

Ann Intensive Care ; 11(1): 159, 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538089


BACKGROUND: Some unanswered questions persist regarding the effectiveness of corticosteroids for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We aimed to assess the clinical effect of corticosteroids on intensive care unit (ICU) mortality among mechanically ventilated COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. METHODS: This was a retrospective study of prospectively collected data conducted in 70 ICUs (68 Spanish, one Andorran, one Irish), including mechanically ventilated COVID-19-associated ARDS patients admitted between February 6 and September 20, 2020. Individuals who received corticosteroids for refractory shock were excluded. Patients exposed to corticosteroids at admission were matched with patients without corticosteroids through propensity score matching. Primary outcome was all-cause ICU mortality. Secondary outcomes were to compare in-hospital mortality, ventilator-free days at 28 days, respiratory superinfection and length of stay between patients with corticosteroids and those without corticosteroids. We performed survival analysis accounting for competing risks and subgroup sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: We included 1835 mechanically ventilated COVID-19-associated ARDS, of whom 1117 (60.9%) received corticosteroids. After propensity score matching, ICU mortality did not differ between patients treated with corticosteroids and untreated patients (33.8% vs. 30.9%; p = 0.28). In survival analysis, corticosteroid treatment at ICU admission was associated with short-term survival benefit (HR 0.53; 95% CI 0.39-0.72), although beyond the 17th day of admission, this effect switched and there was an increased ICU mortality (long-term HR 1.68; 95% CI 1.16-2.45). The sensitivity analysis reinforced the results. Subgroups of age < 60 years, severe ARDS and corticosteroids plus tocilizumab could have greatest benefit from corticosteroids as short-term decreased ICU mortality without long-term negative effects were observed. Larger length of stay was observed with corticosteroids among non-survivors both in the ICU and in hospital. There were no significant differences for the remaining secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that corticosteroid treatment for mechanically ventilated COVID-19-associated ARDS had a biphasic time-dependent effect on ICU mortality. Specific subgroups showed clear effect on improving survival with corticosteroid use. Therefore, further research is required to identify treatment-responsive subgroups among the mechanically ventilated COVID-19-associated ARDS patients.

Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 11: 100243, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500123


BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether the changes in critical care throughout the pandemic have improved the outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients admitted to the intensive care units (ICUs). METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in adults with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to 73 ICUs from Spain, Andorra and Ireland between February 2020 and March 2021. The first wave corresponded with the period from February 2020 to June 2020, whereas the second/third waves occurred from July 2020 to March 2021. The primary outcome was ICU mortality between study periods. Mortality predictors and differences in mortality between COVID-19 waves were identified using logistic regression. FINDINGS: As of March 2021, the participating ICUs had included 3795 COVID-19 pneumonia patients, 2479 (65·3%) and 1316 (34·7%) belonging to the first and second/third waves, respectively. Illness severity scores predicting mortality were lower in the second/third waves compared with the first wave according with the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation system (median APACHE II score 12 [IQR 9-16] vs 14 [IQR 10-19]) and the organ failure assessment score (median SOFA 4 [3-6] vs 5 [3-7], p<0·001). The need of invasive mechanical ventilation was high (76·1%) during the whole study period. However, a significant increase in the use of high flow nasal cannula (48·7% vs 18·2%, p<0·001) was found in the second/third waves compared with the first surge. Significant changes on treatments prescribed were also observed, highlighting the remarkable increase on the use of corticosteroids to up to 95.9% in the second/third waves. A significant reduction on the use of tocilizumab was found during the study (first wave 28·9% vs second/third waves 6·2%, p<0·001), and a negligible administration of lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, and interferon during the second/third waves compared with the first wave. Overall ICU mortality was 30·7% (n = 1166), without significant differences between study periods (first wave 31·7% vs second/third waves 28·8%, p = 0·06). No significant differences were found in ICU mortality between waves according to age subsets except for the subgroup of 61-75 years of age, in whom a reduced unadjusted ICU mortality was observed in the second/third waves (first 38·7% vs second/third 34·0%, p = 0·048). Non-survivors were older, with higher severity of the disease, had more comorbidities, and developed more complications. After adjusting for confounding factors through a multivariable analysis, no significant association was found between the COVID-19 waves and mortality (OR 0·81, 95% CI 0·64-1·03; p = 0·09). Ventilator-associated pneumonia rate increased significantly during the second/third waves and it was independently associated with ICU mortality (OR 1·48, 95% CI 1·19-1·85, p<0·001). Nevertheless, a significant reduction both in the ICU and hospital length of stay in survivors was observed during the second/third waves. INTERPRETATION: Despite substantial changes on supportive care and management, we did not find significant improvement on case-fatality rates among critical COVID-19 pneumonia patients. FUNDING: Ricardo Barri Casanovas Foundation (RBCF2020) and SEMICYUC.