The pathogenesis and treatment of the `Cytokine Storm' in COVID-19

J Infect. 2020 Jun;80(6):607-613. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2020.03.037. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Cytokine storm is an excessive immune response to external stimuli. The pathogenesis of the cytokine storm is complex. The disease progresses rapidly, and the mortality is high. Certain evidence shows that, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, the severe deterioration of some patients has been closely related to the cytokine storm in their bodies. This article reviews the occurrence mechanism and treatment strategies of the COVID-19 virus-induced inflammatory storm in attempt to provide valuable medication guidance for clinical treatment.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; Coronavirus; Cytokine storm; Immunomodulation; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus / immunology
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome* / etiology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents