Atorvastatin versus placebo in patients with covid-19 in intensive care: randomized controlled trial
BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2022;376:e068407
OBJECTIVE To assess the effect of statin treatment versus placebo on clinical outcomes in patients with covid-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). DESIGN INSPIRATION/INSPIRATION-S was a multicenter, randomized controlled trial with a 2×2 factorial design. Results for the anticoagulation randomization have been reported previously. Results for the double blind randomization to atorvastatin versus placebo are reported here. SETTING 11 hospitals in Iran. PARTICIPANTS Adults aged ≥18 years with covid-19 admitted to the ICU. INTERVENTION Atorvastatin 20 mg orally once daily versus placebo, to be continued for 30 days from randomization irrespective of hospital discharge status. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary efficacy outcome was a composite of venous or arterial thrombosis, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or all cause mortality within 30 days from randomization. Prespecified safety outcomes included increase in liver enzyme levels more than three times the upper limit of normal and clinically diagnosed myopathy. A clinical events committee blinded to treatment assignment adjudicated the efficacy and safety outcomes. RESULTS Of 605 patients randomized between 29 July 2020 and 4 April 2021 for statin randomization in the INSPIRATION-S trial, 343 were co-randomized to intermediate dose versus standard dose prophylactic anticoagulation with heparin based regimens, whereas 262 were randomized after completion of the anticoagulation study. 587 of the 605 participants were included in the primary analysis of INSPIRATION-S, reported here: 290 were assigned to atorvastatin and 297 to placebo (median age 57 years (interquartile range 45-68 years); 256 (44%) women). The primary outcome occurred in 95 (33%) patients assigned to atorvastatin and 108 (36%) assigned to placebo (odds ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.58 to 1.21). Death occurred in 90 (31%) patients in the atorvastatin group and 103 (35%) in the placebo group (odds ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.58 to 1.22). Rates for venous thromboembolism were 2% (n=6) in the atorvastatin group and 3% (n=9) in the placebo group (odds ratio 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.24 to 2.06). Myopathy was not clinically diagnosed in either group. Liver enzyme levels were increased in five (2%) patients assigned to atorvastatin and six (2%) assigned to placebo (odds ratio 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.25 to 2.81). CONCLUSIONS In adults with covid-19 admitted to the ICU, atorvastatin was not associated with a significant reduction in the composite of venous or arterial thrombosis, treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or all cause mortality compared with placebo. Treatment was, however, found to be safe. As the overall event rates were lower than expected, a clinically important treatment effect cannot be excluded. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04486508.
Cardiovascular drugs and COVID-19 clinical outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
British journal of clinical pharmacology. 2022
AIMS: To update our previously reported systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies on cardiovascular drug exposure and COVID-19 clinical outcomes by focusing on newly published randomized controlled trials (RCTs). METHODS More than 500 databases were searched between 1-Nov-2020 and 2-Oct-2021 to identify RCTs that were published after our baseline review. One reviewer extracted data with other reviewers verifying the extracted data for accuracy and completeness. RESULTS After screening 22,414 records, we included 24 and 21 RCTs in the qualitative and quantitative syntheses, respectively. The most investigated drug classes were angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARBs) and anticoagulants, investigated by 10 and 11 studies respectively. In meta-analyses, ACEI/ARBs did not affect hospitalization length (mean difference/MD -0.42, 95% CI -1.83; 0.98 days, n=1183), COVID-19 severity (risk ratio/RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.71; 1.15, n=1661) and mortality (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.58; 1.47, n=1646). Therapeutic anticoagulation also had no effect (hospitalization length MD -0.29, 95% CI -1.13 to 0.56 days, n=1449; severity RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.70; 1.04, n=2696; and, mortality RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.77; 1.13, n=5689). Other investigated drug classes were antiplatelets (aspirin, 2 trials), antithrombotics (sulodexide, 1 trial), calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, 1 trial) and lipid modifying drugs (atorvastatin, 1 trial). CONCLUSION Moderate- to high-certainty RCT evidence suggests that cardiovascular drugs such as ACEIs/ARBs are not associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes, and should therefore not be discontinued. These cardiovascular drugs should also not be initiated to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless they are needed for an underlying currently approved therapeutic indication.
Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Coagulation Disbalances in COVID-19: 41 Studies and 17,601 Patients
Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine. 2022;9:794092
INTRODUCTION Coagulation parameters are important determinants for COVID-19 infection. We conducted meta-analysis to assess the association between early hemostatic parameters and infection severity. METHODS Electronic search was made for papers that addressed clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients and disease severity. Results were filtered using exclusion and inclusion criteria and then pooled into a meta-analysis to estimate the standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for D-dimers, fibrinogen, prothrombin time, platelet count (PLT), activated partial thromboplastin time. To explore the heterogeneity and robustness of our fundings, sensitivity and subgroup analyses were conducted. Publication bias was assessed with contour-enhanced funnel plots and Egger's test by linear regression. Coagulation parameters data from retrospective cohort study of 451 patients with COVID-19 at National Research Center for Cardiac Surgery were included in meta-analysis of published studies. RESULTS Overall, 41 original studies (17,601 patients) on SARS-CoV-2 were included. For the two groups of patients, stratified by severity, we identified that D-dimers, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and prothrombin time were significantly higher in the severe group [SMD 0.6985 with 95%CI (0.5155; 0.8815); SMD 0.661 with 95%CI (0.3387; 0.9833); SMD 0.2683 with 95%CI (0.1357; 0.4009); SMD 0.284 with 95%CI (0.1472; 0.4208)]. In contrast, PLT was significantly lower in patients with more severe cases of COVID-19 [SMD -0.1684 with 95%CI (-0.2826; -0.0542)]. Neither the analysis by the leave-one-out method nor the influence diagnostic have identified studies that solely cause significant change in the effect size estimates. Subgroup analysis showed no significant difference between articles originated from different countries but revealed that severity assessment criteria might have influence over estimated effect sizes for platelets and D-dimers. Contour-enhanced funnel plots and the Egger's test for D-dimers and fibrinogen revealed significant asymmetry that might be a sign of publication bias. CONCLUSIONS The hemostatic laboratory parameters, with exception of platelets, are significantly elevated in patients with severe COVID-19. The two variables with strongest association to disease severity were D-dimers and fibrinogen levels. Future research should aim outside conventional coagulation tests and include analysis of clotting formation and platelet/platelet progenitors characteristics.
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on Racial Disparities in Deep Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism Events in COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients
Journal of vascular surgery. Venous and lymphatic disorders. 2022
OBJECTIVE COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events (VTE). Recent studies have characterized racial disparities in the incidence of VTE. The aim of our study was to present a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association between race and VTE in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS We performed a systematic literature review to evaluate the number of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) events reported by racial groups in COVID-19 hospitalized patients. For qualitative analysis, independent reviewers extracted data from eligible studies, and we utilized the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale to assess the quality of design and content for accurate interpretation. For the quantitative analysis, we pooled the ORs with Der Simonian and Laird random effects models. RESULTS The qualitative analysis included 11 studies, and the meta-analysis had six of them. All studies were observational, retrospective cohort studies, except for one retrospective case-control study. Six studies were eligible for the meta-analysis due to high interstudy heterogeneity; thus, variable reports of racial groups reduced the cohort to Black/African American and White patients (n = 9723) in the analysis. The estimated proportion for DVT/PE for Black/African American and Whites was 0.07 (95% CI [0.00, 0.10]) and 0.04 (95% CI [0.00, 0.07]), respectively. The p value of 0.13 suggest non-significant difference in VTE rates between Black/African American and White patients. CONCLUSION In our study, the proportion of DVT/PE events between Black/African American and White COVID-19 patients were comparable. Future COVID-19 studies should include systematic racial group reporting to identify disparities in the setting of thromboembolic events.
Effect of Aspirin on the prevention of pro-thrombotic states in hospitalized COVID-19 patients: Systematic review
Cardiovascular & hematological agents in medicinal chemistry. 2022
INTRODUCTION Thromboembolic events are one of the important complications in COVID-19 patients, especially in severe cases. Aspirin affects platelet function through irreversibly inhibiting the activity of cyclooxygenase, and it reduces the risk of thrombosis. The current systematic review was aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of aspirin in preventing prothrombotic states in COVID-19 hospitalized patients. METHODS The systematic search was done in PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, and Medrxiv up to September 27, 2021. The following keywords were used: "COVID-19", "SARS-CoV-2", "2019 Novel Coronavirus", "Aspirin", and "Acetylsalicylic Acid". RESULTS Twelve studies were included. In COVID-19 patients, aspirin can reduce CRP, IL-6 levels, and platelet aggregation by inhibiting thromboxane A2. It can also improve antiviral immunity by hindering the biosynthesis of prostaglandins and lipoxin. Eight out of twelve articles indicated that aspirin provided a beneficial effect in COVID-19. Most studies consider lowered mechanical ventilation needs, ICU admission, illness severity, overt thrombosis, and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients receiving aspirin. CONCLUSIONS Aspirin as an antiplatelet and anti-inflammatory agent may reduce the mortality rates in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. Further observational studies are necessary to determine the effect of aspirin on the prevention of prothrombotic states in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The study was registered in the Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO (pending registration ID: 300515).
Anticoagulants for people hospitalised with COVID-19
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2022;3:Cd013739
BACKGROUND The primary manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is respiratory insufficiency that can also be related to diffuse pulmonary microthrombosis and thromboembolic events, such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or arterial thrombosis. People with COVID-19 who develop thromboembolism have a worse prognosis. Anticoagulants such as heparinoids (heparins or pentasaccharides), vitamin K antagonists and direct anticoagulants are used for the prevention and treatment of venous or arterial thromboembolism. Besides their anticoagulant properties, heparinoids have an additional anti-inflammatory potential. However, the benefit of anticoagulants for people with COVID-19 is still under debate. OBJECTIVES To assess the benefits and harms of anticoagulants versus active comparator, placebo or no intervention in people hospitalised with COVID-19. SEARCH METHODS We searched the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS and IBECS databases, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and medRxiv preprint database from their inception to 14 April 2021. We also checked the reference lists of any relevant systematic reviews identified, and contacted specialists in the field for additional references to trials. SELECTION CRITERIA Eligible studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cluster-RCTs and cohort studies that compared prophylactic anticoagulants versus active comparator, placebo or no intervention for the management of people hospitalised with COVID-19. We excluded studies without a comparator group and with a retrospective design (all previously included studies) as we were able to include better study designs. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality and necessity for additional respiratory support. Secondary outcomes were mortality related to COVID-19, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, major bleeding, adverse events, length of hospital stay and quality of life. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. We used Cochrane RoB 1 to assess the risk of bias for RCTs, ROBINS-I to assess risk of bias for non-randomised studies (NRS) and GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence. We meta-analysed data when appropriate. MAIN RESULTS We included seven studies (16,185 participants) with participants hospitalised with COVID-19, in either intensive care units, hospital wards or emergency departments. Studies were from Brazil (2), Iran (1), Italy (1), and the USA (1), and two involved more than country. The mean age of participants was 55 to 68 years and the follow-up period ranged from 15 to 90 days. The studies assessed the effects of heparinoids, direct anticoagulants or vitamin K antagonists, and reported sparse data or did not report some of our outcomes of interest: necessity for additional respiratory support, mortality related to COVID-19, and quality of life. Higher-dose versus lower-dose anticoagulants (4 RCTs, 4647 participants) Higher-dose anticoagulants result in little or no difference in all-cause mortality (risk ratio (RR) 1.03, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.16, 4489 participants; 4 RCTs) and increase minor bleeding (RR 3.28, 95% CI 1.75 to 6.14, 1196 participants; 3 RCTs) compared to lower-dose anticoagulants up to 30 days (high-certainty evidence). Higher-dose anticoagulants probably reduce pulmonary embolism (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.70, 4360 participants; 4 RCTs), and slightly increase major bleeding (RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.80, 4400 participants; 4 RCTs) compared to lower-dose anticoagulants up to 30 days (moderate-certainty evidence). Higher-dose anticoagulants may result in little or no difference in deep vein thrombosis (RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.57 to 2.03, 3422 participants; 4 RCTs), stroke (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.40 to 2.03, 4349 participants; 3 RCTs), major adverse limb events (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.99, 1176 participants; 2 RCTs), myocardial infarction (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.55, 4349 participants; 3 RCTs), atrial fibrillation (RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.70, 562 participants; 1 study), or thrombocytopenia (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.24, 2789 participants; 2 RCTs) compared to lower-dose anticoagulants up to 30 days (low-certainty evidence). It is unclear whether higher-dose anticoagulants have any effect on necessity for additional respiratory support, mortality related to COVID-19, and quality of life (very low-certainty evidence or no data). Anticoagulants versus no treatment (3 prospective NRS, 11,538 participants) Anticoagulants may reduce all-cause mortality but the evidence is very uncertain due to two study results being at critical and serious risk of bias (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.74, 8395 participants; 3 NRS; very low-certainty evidence). It is uncertain if anticoagulants have any effect on necessity for additional respiratory support, mortality related to COVID-19, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, major bleeding, stroke, myocardial infarction and quality of life (very low-certainty evidence or no data). Ongoing studies We found 62 ongoing studies in hospital settings (60 RCTs, 35,470 participants; 2 prospective NRS, 120 participants) in 20 different countries. Thirty-five ongoing studies plan to report mortality and 26 plan to report necessity for additional respiratory support. We expect 58 studies to be completed in December 2021, and four in July 2022. From 60 RCTs, 28 are comparing different doses of anticoagulants, 24 are comparing anticoagulants versus no anticoagulants, seven are comparing different types of anticoagulants, and one did not report detail of the comparator group. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS When compared to a lower-dose regimen, higher-dose anticoagulants result in little to no difference in all-cause mortality and increase minor bleeding in people hospitalised with COVID-19 up to 30 days. Higher-dose anticoagulants possibly reduce pulmonary embolism, slightly increase major bleeding, may result in little to no difference in hospitalisation time, and may result in little to no difference in deep vein thrombosis, stroke, major adverse limb events, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, or thrombocytopenia. Compared with no treatment, anticoagulants may reduce all-cause mortality but the evidence comes from non-randomised studies and is very uncertain. It is unclear whether anticoagulants have any effect on the remaining outcomes compared to no anticoagulants (very low-certainty evidence or no data). Although we are very confident that new RCTs will not change the effects of different doses of anticoagulants on mortality and minor bleeding, high-quality RCTs are still needed, mainly for the other primary outcome (necessity for additional respiratory support), the comparison with no anticoagulation, when comparing the types of anticoagulants and giving anticoagulants for a prolonged period of time.
Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 (7 studies, n= 16,185).
Active comparator. Placebo. No intervention.
Higher-dose anticoagulants resulted in little or no difference in all-cause mortality (risk ratio (RR) 1.03) and increased minor bleeding (RR 3.28) compared to lower-dose anticoagulants up to 30 days (high-certainty evidence). Higher-dose anticoagulants probably reduced pulmonary embolism (RR 0.46) and slightly increased major bleeding (RR 1.78) compared to lower-dose anticoagulants up to 30 days (moderate-certainty evidence).
Vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity - plausibly linked by latitude, ethnicity, impacts on cytokines, ACE2 and thrombosis
Journal of Internal Medicine. 2022;289(1):97-115
Background: SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection ranges from asymptomatic through to fatal COVID-19 characterized by a 'cytokine storm' and lung failure Vitamin D deficiency has been postulated as a determinant of severity Objectives: To review the evidence relevant to vitamin D and COVID-19
Full versus prophylactic-intermediate doses of anticoagulants in COVID-19: a meta-analysis
Subclinical myocardial injury, coagulopathy, and inflammation in COVID-19: A meta-analysis of 41,013 hospitalized patients
International journal of cardiology. Heart & vasculature. 2022;:100950
BACKGROUND Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus can lead to myocardial injury, evidenced by increases in specific biomarkers and imaging. OBJECTIVE To quantify the association between biomarkers of myocardial injury, coagulation, and severe COVID-19 and death in hospitalized patients. METHODS Studies were identified through a systematic search of indexed articles in PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Web of Science, and Scopus, published between December 2019 to August 2021. Effect estimates from individual studies for association between markers of myocardial injury (Troponin), myocardial stretch (N-terminal-pro hormone BNP, NT-proBNP), and coagulopathy (D-Dimer) and death or severe/critical COVID-19 were pooled using inverse variance weighted random-effects model. Odds Ratios (OR), Hazard Ratios (HR), and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were pooled separately and reported by outcomes of critical/severe COVID-19 and death. A meta-analysis of proportions was also performed to summarize the pooled prevalence of co-morbidities in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. RESULTS We included 62 articles, with a total of 41,013 patients. The pooled proportion of patients with history of hypertension was 39% (95% CI: 34-44%); diabetes, 21% (95% CI: 18%-24%); coronary artery disease, 13% (95% CI: 10-16%); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 7% (95% CI: 5-8%), and history of cancer, 5% (95% CI: 4-7%). Elevated troponin was associated with higher pooled odds of critical/severe COVID-19 and death [Odds Ratio (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.42-2.16)]; and also separately for death (OR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.32-2.25), and critical/severe COVID-1919 (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.45-2.40). Elevations in NT-proBNP were also associated with higher severe COVID-19 and death (OR: 3.00, 95% CI: 1.58-5.70). Increases in D-dimer levels was also significantly associated with critical/severe COVID-19 and death (pooled OR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.07-1.79). CONCLUSIONS This meta-analysis synthesizes existing evidence showing that myocardial injury, and coagulopathy are complications of COVID-19. The durability of these complications and their contributions to long-term cardiac implications of the disease is still being investigated. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may benefit from minimally invasive assessment for markers of myocardial injury, stretch and coagulopathy for early risk stratification purposes.
Identification of Parameters Representative of Immune Dysfunction in Patients with Severe and Fatal COVID-19 Infection: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology. 2022;:1-33
Abnormal immunological indicators associated with disease severity and mortality in patients with COVID-19 have been reported in several observational studies. However, there are marked heterogeneities in patient characteristics and research methodologies in these studies. We aimed to provide an updated synthesis of the association between immune-related indicators and COVID-19 prognosis. We conducted an electronic search of PubMed, Scopus, Ovid, Willey, Web of Science, Cochrane library, and CNKI for studies reporting immunological and/or immune-related parameters, including hematological, inflammatory, coagulation, and biochemical variables, tested on hospital admission of COVID-19 patients with different severities and outcomes. A total of 145 studies were included in the current meta-analysis, with 26 immunological, 11 hematological, 5 inflammatory, 4 coagulation, and 10 biochemical variables reported. Of them, levels of cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1Ra, IL-2R, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IgA, IgG, and CD4(+) T/CD8(+) T cell ratio, WBC, neutrophil, platelet, ESR, CRP, ferritin, SAA, D-dimer, FIB, and LDH were significantly increased in severely ill patients or non-survivors. Moreover, non-severely ill patients or survivors presented significantly higher counts of lymphocytes, monocytes, lymphocyte/monocyte ratio, eosinophils, CD3(+) T,CD4(+)T and CD8(+)T cells, B cells, and NK cells. The currently updated meta-analysis primarily identified a hypercytokinemia profile with the severity and mortality of COVID-19 containing IL-1β, IL-1Ra, IL-2R, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18, TNF-α, and IFN-γ. Impaired innate and adaptive immune responses, reflected by decreased eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, B cells, NK cells, T cells, and their subtype CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, and augmented inflammation, coagulation dysfunction, and nonpulmonary organ injury, were marked features of patients with poor prognosis. Therefore, parameters of immune response dysfunction combined with inflammatory, coagulated, or nonpulmonary organ injury indicators may be more sensitive to predict severe patients and those non-survivors.