Introduction: No therapy has yet proven effective in COVID-19. Tocilizumab (TCZ) in patients with severe COVID-19 could be an effective treatment.
Method: We conducted a retrospective case-control study in the Nord Franche-Comté Hospital, France. We compared the outcome of patients treated with TCZ and patients without TCZ considering a combined primary endpoint: death and/or ICU admissions.
Results: Patients with TCZ (n=20) had a higher Charlson comorbidity index (5.3 [±2.4] vs 3.4 [±2.6], P=0.014), presented with more severe forms (higher level of oxygen therapy at 13L/min vs 6L/min, P<0.001), and had poorer biological findings (severe lymphopenia: 676/mm3 vs 914/mm3, P=0.037 and higher CRP level: 158mg/L vs 105mg/L, P=0.017) than patients without TCZ (n=25). However, death and/or ICU admissions were higher in patients without TCZ than in the TCZ group (72% vs 25%, P=0.002).
Conclusion: Despite the small sample size and retrospective nature of the work, this result strongly suggests that TCZ may reduce the number of ICU admissions and/or mortality in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.
Keywords: COVID-19; Intensive care unit; Mortality; SARS-CoV-2; Tocilizumab.
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