Convalescent plasma treatment of severe COVID-19: a propensity score-matched control study

Nat Med. 2020 Nov;26(11):1708-1713. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-1088-9. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a new human disease with few effective treatments1. Convalescent plasma, donated by persons who have recovered from COVID-19, is the acellular component of blood that contains antibodies, including those that specifically recognize SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies, when transfused into patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, are thought to exert an antiviral effect, suppressing virus replication before patients have mounted their own humoral immune responses2,3. Virus-specific antibodies from recovered persons are often the first available therapy for an emerging infectious disease, a stopgap treatment while new antivirals and vaccines are being developed1,2. This retrospective, propensity score-matched case-control study assessed the effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in 39 patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Oxygen requirements on day 14 after transfusion worsened in 17.9% of plasma recipients versus 28.2% of propensity score-matched controls who were hospitalized with COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 0.86; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.75-0.98; chi-square test P value = 0.025). Survival also improved in plasma recipients (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13-0.89; chi-square test P = 0.027). Convalescent plasma is potentially effective against COVID-19, but adequately powered, randomized controlled trials are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / pathology*
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 serotherapy