"Tocilizumab-an option for patients with COVID-19 associated cytokine release syndrome: A single center experience", a retrospective study-original article

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2021 Mar;63:102165. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2021.02.011. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Abstract

Background: The first case of Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was diagnosed in Wuhan, China in 2019. In the first half of 2020, this disease has already converted into a global pandemic. This study aimed to find that treatment of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with Tocilizumab or steroids was associated with better outcomes. Objectives: To analyze the effectiveness of Tocilizumab in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients based on predefined assessment criteria . Study Settings: Single-center, Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore.

Study design: Quasi-experimental.

Duration of study: From May 12, 2020 to June 12, 2020.

Patients & methods sample size and technique: Sample size was 93; 33 patients were kept in the experimental group, given Tocilizumab, 8 mg/kg intravenously or 162 mg subcutaneously, and the rest of the 60 patients were given corticosteroids, methylprednisolone 80 mg/day. Consecutive sampling. Failure of therapy was labeled when patients were intubated or died, and the endpoints were failure-free survival which was the primary endpoint, and overall survival secondary at the time of discharge.

Results: A total of 93 patients were enrolled, the Tocilizumab (TCZ) group (case) and Corticosteroid (CS) group (Control). The median age was 58 years (IQR-21), 37 (39.8%) patients with diabetes mellitus, 11 (11.8%) in the TCZ group, and 26 (28%) in the CS group. On the whole, the total median hospital stay in days was 7 with IQR (4), a total of 83 (89.2%) patients recovered successfully and discharged, 27 (29%) in the TCZ group and 56 (60.2%) in the CS group. Total 10 (10.8%) patients died, out of which 6 (6.5%) belonged to the TCZ group and 4 (4.3%) belonged to the CS group The median Oxygen requirement with IQR was 8 (9) in both the groups and in total as well, p-value (0.714).

Conclusions: Tocilizumab is a quite effective treatment option for critically sick patients of Covid-19 by reducing their oxygen requirement drastically and so the ICU stay, median hospital stay and so the mortality as well.

Clinicals trials registration: UIN # NCT04730323.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Covid-19; Cytokine storm syndrome; SARS-CoV-2; Tocilizumab.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04730323