Clinical effectiveness of convalescent plasma in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2021 Jan-Dec;15:17534666211028077. doi: 10.1177/17534666211028077.


Aims: Given the variability of previously reported results, this systematic review aims to determine the clinical effectiveness of convalescent plasma employed in the treatment of hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of controlled clinical trials assessing treatment with convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The outcomes were mortality, clinical improvement, and ventilation requirement.

Results: A total of 51 studies were retrieved from the databases. Five articles were finally included in the data extraction and qualitative and quantitative synthesis of results. The overall risk of bias in the reviewed articles was established at low-risk only in two trials. The meta-analysis suggests that there is no benefit of convalescent plasma compared with standard care or placebo in reducing the overall mortality and the ventilation requirement. However, there could be a benefit for the clinical improvement in patients treated with plasma.

Conclusion: Current results led to assume that the convalescent plasma transfusion cannot reduce the mortality or ventilation requirement in hospitalized patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. More controlled clinical trials conducted with methodologies that ensure a low risk of bias are still needed.The reviews of this paper are available via the supplemental material section.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; clinical improvement; convalescent plasma; mortality.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / adverse effects
  • Immunization, Passive / mortality
  • Recovery of Function
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome