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Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(5): 550-557, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-968958


The search for effective COVID-19 management strategies continues to evolve. Current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms suggests a central role for exaggerated activation of the innate immune system as an important contributor to COVID-19 adverse outcomes. The actions of colchicine, one of the oldest anti-inflammatory therapeutics, target multiple mechanisms associated with COVID-19 excessive inflammation. While many COVID-19 trials have sought to manipulate SARS-CoV-2 or dampen the inflammatory response once patients are hospitalised, few examine therapeutics to prevent the need for hospitalisation. Colchicine is easily administered, generally well tolerated and inexpensive, and holds particular promise to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and mortality due to COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. Successful outpatient treatment of COVID-19 could greatly reduce morbidity, mortality and the demand for rare or expensive care resources (front-line healthcare workers, hospital beds, ventilators, biological therapies), to the benefit of both resource-replete and resource-poor regions.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Colchicine/therapeutic use , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
ACR Open Rheumatol ; 2(5): 283-285, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291837


Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) are increasingly recognized as being on a continuum of cytokine storm syndromes, with different initiating pathways culminating in cytotoxic dysfunction and uncontrolled activation and proliferation of T lymphocytes and macrophages. The activated immune cells produce large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1ß (IL)-1ß. Management depends on the recognized diagnosis. In the setting of a cytokine storm syndrome and infection, collaborative involvement of specialists, including infectious disease and rheumatology is ideal. Anakinra, a recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist, has been used subcutaneously and intravenously in pediatric patients and is considered a first-line treatment for MAS and secondary HLH (sHLH) among many pediatric rheumatologists. Previous reports of anakinra used in adults for treatment of MAS or sHLH are limited to subcutaneous administration. In this issue, Moneagudo et al. present a series of adult patients with sHLH treated with intravenous anakinra, including patients in whom subcutaneous anakinra was insufficient. As the authors suggest, there is a potential therapeutic use for anakinra in sHLH or the cytokine storm syndrome triggered by COVID19. Trial design will be key, with the patient subpopulation, timing of intervention, and doses tested important.