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1.
JAMA ; 326(6): 499-518, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413703

ABSTRACT

Importance: Clinical trials assessing the efficacy of IL-6 antagonists in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have variously reported benefit, no effect, and harm. Objective: To estimate the association between administration of IL-6 antagonists compared with usual care or placebo and 28-day all-cause mortality and other outcomes. Data Sources: Trials were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases between October 2020 and January 2021. Searches were not restricted by trial status or language. Additional trials were identified through contact with experts. Study Selection: Eligible trials randomly assigned patients hospitalized for COVID-19 to a group in whom IL-6 antagonists were administered and to a group in whom neither IL-6 antagonists nor any other immunomodulators except corticosteroids were administered. Among 72 potentially eligible trials, 27 (37.5%) met study selection criteria. Data Extraction and Synthesis: In this prospective meta-analysis, risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Inconsistency among trial results was assessed using the I2 statistic. The primary analysis was an inverse variance-weighted fixed-effects meta-analysis of odds ratios (ORs) for 28-day all-cause mortality. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measure was all-cause mortality at 28 days after randomization. There were 9 secondary outcomes including progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death and risk of secondary infection by 28 days. Results: A total of 10 930 patients (median age, 61 years [range of medians, 52-68 years]; 3560 [33%] were women) participating in 27 trials were included. By 28 days, there were 1407 deaths among 6449 patients randomized to IL-6 antagonists and 1158 deaths among 4481 patients randomized to usual care or placebo (summary OR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.79-0.95]; P = .003 based on a fixed-effects meta-analysis). This corresponds to an absolute mortality risk of 22% for IL-6 antagonists compared with an assumed mortality risk of 25% for usual care or placebo. The corresponding summary ORs were 0.83 (95% CI, 0.74-0.92; P < .001) for tocilizumab and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.86-1.36; P = .52) for sarilumab. The summary ORs for the association with mortality compared with usual care or placebo in those receiving corticosteroids were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.68-0.87) for tocilizumab and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.61-1.38) for sarilumab. The ORs for the association with progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death, compared with usual care or placebo, were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.70-0.85) for all IL-6 antagonists, 0.74 (95% CI, 0.66-0.82) for tocilizumab, and 1.00 (95% CI, 0.74-1.34) for sarilumab. Secondary infections by 28 days occurred in 21.9% of patients treated with IL-6 antagonists vs 17.6% of patients treated with usual care or placebo (OR accounting for trial sample sizes, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.85-1.16). Conclusions and Relevance: In this prospective meta-analysis of clinical trials of patients hospitalized for COVID-19, administration of IL-6 antagonists, compared with usual care or placebo, was associated with lower 28-day all-cause mortality. Trial Registration: PROSPERO Identifier: CRD42021230155.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cause of Death , Coinfection , Disease Progression , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiration, Artificial
2.
BMJ Open ; 11(1): e043004, 2021 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013052

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Testing used in screening, diagnosis and follow-up of COVID-19 has been a subject of debate. Several organisations have developed formal advice about testing for COVID-19 to assist in the control of the disease. We collated, delineated and appraised current worldwide recommendations about the role and applications of tests to control SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. METHODS: We searched for documents providing recommendations for COVID-19 testing in PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS, the Coronavirus Open Access Project living evidence database and relevant websites such as TRIP database, ECRI Guidelines Trust, the GIN database, from inception to 21 September 2020. Two reviewers applied the eligibility criteria to potentially relevant citations without language or geographical restrictions. We extracted data in duplicate, including assessment of methodological quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation-II tool. RESULTS: We included 47 relevant documents and 327 recommendations about testing. Regarding the quality of the documents, we found that the domains with the lowest scores were 'Editorial independence' (Median=4%) and 'Applicability' (Median=6%). Only six documents obtained at least 50% score for the 'Rigour of development' domain. An important number of recommendations focused on the diagnosis of suspected cases (48%) and deisolation measures (11%). The most frequently recommended test was the reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay (87 recommendations) and the chest CT (38 recommendations). There were 22 areas of agreement among guidance developers, including the use of RT-PCR for SARS-Cov-2 confirmation, the limited role of bronchoscopy, the use chest CT and chest X-rays for grading severity and the co-assessment for other respiratory pathogens. CONCLUSION: This first scoping review of recommendations for COVID-19 testing showed many limitations in the methodological quality of included guidance documents that could affect the confidence of clinicians in their implementation. Future guidance documents should incorporate a minimum set of key methodological characteristics to enhance their applicability for decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics
3.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0242958, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965358

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A false-negative case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is defined as a person with suspected infection and an initial negative result by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, with a positive result on a subsequent test. False-negative cases have important implications for isolation and risk of transmission of infected people and for the management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to review and critically appraise evidence about the rate of RT-PCR false-negatives at initial testing for COVID-19. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, as well as COVID-19 repositories, including the EPPI-Centre living systematic map of evidence about COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Open Access Project living evidence database. Two authors independently screened and selected studies according to the eligibility criteria and collected data from the included studies. The risk of bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool. We calculated the proportion of false-negative test results using a multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression model. The certainty of the evidence about false-negative cases was rated using the GRADE approach for tests and strategies. All information in this article is current up to July 17, 2020. RESULTS: We included 34 studies enrolling 12,057 COVID-19 confirmed cases. All studies were affected by several risks of bias and applicability concerns. The pooled estimate of false-negative proportion was highly affected by unexplained heterogeneity (tau-squared = 1.39; 90% prediction interval from 0.02 to 0.54). The certainty of the evidence was judged as very low due to the risk of bias, indirectness, and inconsistency issues. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial and largely unexplained heterogeneity in the proportion of false-negative RT-PCR results. The collected evidence has several limitations, including risk of bias issues, high heterogeneity, and concerns about its applicability. Nonetheless, our findings reinforce the need for repeated testing in patients with suspicion of SARS-Cov-2 infection given that up to 54% of COVID-19 patients may have an initial false-negative RT-PCR (very low certainty of evidence). SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: Protocol available on the OSF website: https://tinyurl.com/vvbgqya.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , False Negative Reactions , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
4.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(2): 238-243, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871968

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Tocilizumab has been proposed as a candidate therapy for patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially among those with higher systemic inflammation. We investigated the association between receipt of tocilizumab and mortality in a large cohort of hospitalized patients. METHODS: In this cohort study of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Spain, the primary outcome was time to death and the secondary outcome time to intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death. We used inverse probability weighting to fit marginal structural models adjusted for time-varying covariates to determine the causal relationship between receipt of tocilizumab and outcome. RESULTS: Data from 1229 patients were analysed, with 261 patients (61 deaths) in the tocilizumab group and 969 patients (120 deaths) in the control group. In the adjusted marginal structural models, a significant interaction between receipt of tocilizumab and high C-reactive protein (CRP) levels was detected. Tocilizumab was associated with decreased risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.16-0.72, p 0.005) and ICU admission or death (adjusted hazard ratio 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.80, p 0.011) among patients with baseline CRP >150 mg/L but not among those with CRP ≤150 mg/L. Exploratory subgroup analyses yielded point estimates that were consistent with these findings. CONCLUSIONS: In this large observational study, tocilizumab was associated with a lower risk of death or ICU admission or death in patients with higher CRP levels. While the results of ongoing clinical trials of tocilizumab in patients with COVID-19 will be important to establish its safety and efficacy, our findings have implications for the design of future clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
6.
EClinicalMedicine ; 27: 100539, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-753676

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The lack of evidence-based recommendations for therapeutic decisions during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic creates a unique scenario of clinical decision making which is worth to analyze. We aim to identify the drivers of therapeutic aggressiveness during the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This cross-sectional worldwide survey (conducted April 12 to 19, 2020) was aimed at physicians who managed patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Treatment preferences were collected in five different clinical scenarios. We used multilevel mixed-effects ordered logistic regression to identify variables that were associated with the use of more aggressive therapies. FINDINGS: The survey was completed by 852 physicians from 44 different specialties and 29 countries. The heterogeneity of therapeutic decisions increased as the clinical scenario worsened. Factors associated with aggressive therapeutic decisions were higher self-perceived expertise (high vs. null, OR 1.95, 95%CI 1.31-2.89), perceived quality of COVID-19 publications (high vs. null, OR 1.92, 95%CI 1.17-3.16), and female sex (OR 1.17, 95%CI 1.02-1.33). Conversely, Infectious Diseases specialty, Latin American and North American origin, lower confidence in the treatments chosen, and having published articles indexed in PubMed as the first-author were associated with the use of less aggressive therapies. INTERPRETATION: Our study provides insight into the drivers of the decision-making process during a new and extreme health emergency. Different factors including the perceived expertise and quality of publications, gender, geographic origin, medical specialty and implication in medical research influenced this process. The clinical severity attenuated the physician's tolerance for uncertainty. FUNDING: No funding was required.

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