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JCI Insight ; 5(17)2020 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676865


BACKGROUNDElevated levels of inflammatory cytokines have been associated with poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients. It is unknown, however, how these levels compare with those observed in critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or sepsis due to other causes.METHODSWe used a Luminex assay to determine expression of 76 cytokines from plasma of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and banked plasma samples from ARDS and sepsis patients. Our analysis focused on detecting statistical differences in levels of 6 cytokines associated with cytokine storm (IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α) between patients with moderate COVID-19, severe COVID-19, and ARDS or sepsis.RESULTSFifteen hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 9 of whom were critically ill, were compared with critically ill patients with ARDS (n = 12) or sepsis (n = 16). There were no statistically significant differences in baseline levels of IL-1ß, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-α between patients with COVID-19 and critically ill controls with ARDS or sepsis.CONCLUSIONLevels of inflammatory cytokines were not higher in severe COVID-19 patients than in moderate COVID-19 or critically ill patients with ARDS or sepsis in this small cohort. Broad use of immunosuppressive therapies in ARDS has failed in numerous Phase 3 studies; use of these therapies in unselected patients with COVID-19 may be unwarranted.FUNDINGFunding was received from NHLBI K23 HL125663 (AJR); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation OPP1113682 (AJR and CAB); Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases #1016687 NIH/NIAID U19AI057229-16; Stanford Maternal Child Health Research Institute; and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CAB).

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Sepsis/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/blood , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/immunology , Interleukin-18/blood , Interleukin-18/immunology , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/immunology , Interleukin-8/blood , Interleukin-8/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Sepsis/blood , Severity of Illness Index , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology