Coronavirus Disease 2019 Convalescent Plasma Outpatient Therapy to Prevent Outpatient Hospitalization: A Meta-Analysis of Individual Participant Data From 5 Randomized Trials

Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Jun 16;76(12):2077-2086. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad088.


Background: Outpatient monoclonal antibodies are no longer effective and antiviral treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease remain largely unavailable in many countries worldwide. Although treatment with COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is promising, clinical trials among outpatients have shown mixed results.

Methods: We conducted an individual participant data meta-analysis from outpatient trials to assess the overall risk reduction for all-cause hospitalizations by day 28 in transfused participants. Relevant trials were identified by searching Medline, Embase, medRxiv, World Health Organization COVID-19 Research Database, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science from January 2020 to September 2022.

Results: Five included studies from 4 countries enrolled and transfused 2620 adult patients. Comorbidities were present in 1795 (69%). The virus neutralizing antibody dilutional titer levels ranged from 8 to 14 580 in diverse assays. One hundred sixty of 1315 (12.2%) control patients were hospitalized, versus 111 of 1305 (8.5%) CCP-treated patients, yielding a 3.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3%-6.0%; P = .001) absolute risk reduction and 30.1% relative risk reduction for all-cause hospitalization. The hospitalization reduction was greatest in those with both early transfusion and high titer with a 7.6% absolute risk reduction (95% CI, 4.0%-11.1%; P = .0001) accompanied by at 51.4% relative risk reduction. No significant reduction in hospitalization was seen with treatment >5 days after symptom onset or in those receiving CCP with antibody titers below the median titer.

Conclusions: Among outpatients with COVID-19, treatment with CCP reduced the rate of all-cause hospitalization and may be most effective when given within 5 days of symptom onset and when antibody titer is higher.

Keywords: COVID-19; COVID-19 convalescent plasma; SARS-CoV-2; hospitalization; therapy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Outpatients
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2