Background: The role of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear.
Methods: We retrospectively compared outcomes in a cohort of critical COVID-19 patients who received standard care (SC Group) and those who, in addition, received convalescent plasma (CP Group).
Results: In total, 40 patients were included in each group. The median patient age was 53.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] 42-60.5), and the majority of patients required invasive ventilation (69, 86.2%). Plasma was harvested from donors after a median of 37 days (IQR 31-46) from the first positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result and 26 days (IQR 21-32) after documented viral clearance; it was administered after a median of 10 days (IQR 9-10) from the onset of symptoms and 2.5 days (IQR 2-4) from admission to intensive care unit. The primary endpoint of improvement in respiratory support status within 28 days was achieved in 26 patients (65%) in the SC Group and 31 patients (77.5%) in the CP Group (p = .32). The 28-day all-cause mortality (12.5% vs. 2.5%; p = .22) and viral clearance (65% vs. 55%; p = .49) were not significantly different between the two groups. Convalescent plasma was not significantly associated with the primary endpoint (adjusted hazard ratio 0.87; 95% confidence interval 0.51-1.49; p = .62). Adverse events were balanced between the two study groups.
Conclusion: In severe COVID-19, convalescent plasma therapy was not associated with clinical benefits. Randomized trials are required to confirm our findings.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; convalescent plasma; coronavirus; passive immunotherapy.
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Medical Virology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.