The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is now a major global health threat. More than half a year have passed since the first discovery of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV2), no effective treatment has been established especially in intensive care unit. Inflammatory cytokine storm caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection has been reported to play a central role in COVID-19; therefore, treatments for suppressing cytokines, including extracorporeal treatments, are considered to be beneficial. However, until today the efficacy of removing cytokines by extracorporeal treatments in patients with COVID-19 is unclear. Herein, we report our experience with a 66-year-old male patient undergoing maintenance peritoneal dialysis who became critically ill with COVID-19 and underwent several extracorporeal treatment approaches including plasma exchange, direct hemoperfusion using a polymyxin B-immobilized fiber column and continuous hemodiafiltration. Though the patient developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) repeatedly and subacute cerebral infarction and finally died for respiratory failure on day 30 after admission, these attempts appeared to dampen the cytokine storm based on the observed decline in serum IL-6 levels and were effective against ARDS and secondary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. This case suggests the significance of timely initiation of extracorporeal treatment approaches in critically ill patients with COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; Continuous renal replacement therapy; Cytokine storm; Plasma exchange.