Efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Apher. 2021 Jun;36(3):470-482. doi: 10.1002/jca.21881. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Abstract

The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine clinical outcomes associated with convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 patients. We performed a literature search on PubMed, medRxiv, Web of Science, and Scopus to identify studies published up to December 10th, 2020 that examined the efficacy of convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19. The primary endpoints were mortality, clinical improvement, and hospital length of stay. We screened 859 studies that met the search criteria, performed full-text reviews of 56 articles, and identified 15 articles that fulfilled inclusion criteria for meta-analysis. The odds of mortality were significantly lower in the convalescent plasma group compared to the control group (OR = 0.59 [95% CI = 0.44; 0.78], P < .001), although results from two key randomized controlled trials did not support the mortality benefit. The odds of clinical improvement were significantly higher in the convalescent plasma group compared to the control group (OR = 2.02 [95% CI = 1.54; 2.65], P < .001). There was no difference in hospital length of stay between the convalescent plasma group and the control group (MD = -0.49 days [95% CI = -3.11; 2.12], P = .713). In all, these data indicate that a mortality benefit with convalescent plasma is unclear, although there remain benefits with convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; convalescent plasma; coronavirus; meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / methods
  • Length of Stay
  • Plasma
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Risk
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 serotherapy