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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19728, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454814


Life-threatening COVID-19 is associated with strong inflammation, where an IL-6-driven cytokine storm appears to be a cornerstone for enhanced pathology. Nonetheless, the specific inhibition of such pathway has shown mixed outcomes. This could be due to variations in the dose of tocilizumab used, the stage in which the drug is administered or the severity of disease presentation. Thus, we performed a retrospective multicentric study in 140 patients with moderate to critical COVID-19, 79 of which received tocilizumab in variable standard doses (< 400 mg, 400-800 mg or > 800 mg), either at the viral (1-7 days post-symptom onset), early inflammatory (8-15) or late inflammatory (16 or more) stages, and compared it with standard treated patients. Mortality, reduced respiratory support requirements and pathology markers were measured. Tocilizumab significantly reduced the respiratory support requirements (OR 2.71, CI 1.37-4.85 at 95%) and inflammatory markers (OR 4.82, CI 1.4-15.8) of all patients, but mortality was only reduced (4.1% vs 25.7%, p = 0.03) when the drug was administered at the early inflammatory stage and in doses ranging 400-800 mg in severely-ill patients. Despite the apparent inability of Tocilizumab to prevent the progression of COVID-19 into a critical presentation, severely-ill patients may be benefited by its use in the early inflammatory stage and moderate doses.

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Humans , Odds Ratio , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis , Survival Rate