Convalescent plasma in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised controlled, open-label, platform trial
Lancet (London, England). 2021
BACKGROUND Many patients with COVID-19 have been treated with plasma containing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS This randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy [RECOVERY]) is assessing several possible treatments in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the UK. The trial is underway at 177 NHS hospitals from across the UK. Eligible and consenting patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either usual care alone (usual care group) or usual care plus high-titre convalescent plasma (convalescent plasma group). The primary outcome was 28-day mortality, analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. The trial is registered with ISRCTN, 50189673, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04381936. FINDINGS Between May 28, 2020, and Jan 15, 2021, 11558 (71%) of 16287 patients enrolled in RECOVERY were eligible to receive convalescent plasma and were assigned to either the convalescent plasma group or the usual care group. There was no significant difference in 28-day mortality between the two groups: 1399 (24%) of 5795 patients in the convalescent plasma group and 1408 (24%) of 5763 patients in the usual care group died within 28 days (rate ratio 1·00, 95% CI 0·93-1·07; p=0·95). The 28-day mortality rate ratio was similar in all prespecified subgroups of patients, including in those patients without detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at randomisation. Allocation to convalescent plasma had no significant effect on the proportion of patients discharged from hospital within 28 days (3832 [66%] patients in the convalescent plasma group vs 3822 [66%] patients in the usual care group; rate ratio 0·99, 95% CI 0·94-1·03; p=0·57). Among those not on invasive mechanical ventilation at randomisation, there was no significant difference in the proportion of patients meeting the composite endpoint of progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death (1568 [29%] of 5493 patients in the convalescent plasma group vs 1568 [29%] of 5448 patients in the usual care group; rate ratio 0·99, 95% CI 0·93-1·05; p=0·79). INTERPRETATION In patients hospitalised with COVID-19, high-titre convalescent plasma did not improve survival or other prespecified clinical outcomes. FUNDING UK Research and Innovation (Medical Research Council) and National Institute of Health Research.
Patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and enrolled in the RECOVERY trial (n=11,558).
Convalescent plasma (n= 5,795).
Usual care (n= 5,763).
There was no significant difference in 28-day mortality between the two groups: 1,399 (24%) of patients in the convalescent plasma group and 1,408 (24%) of patients in the usual care group died within 28 days. Allocation to convalescent plasma had no significant effect on the proportion of patients discharged from hospital within 28 days 3,832 (66%) patients in the convalescent plasma group vs. 3,822 (66%) patients in the usual care group. Among those not on invasive mechanical ventilation at randomisation, there was no significant difference in the proportion of patients meeting the composite endpoint of progression to invasive mechanical ventilation or death 1,568 (29%) of 5,493 patients in the convalescent plasma group vs. 1,568 (29%) of 5,448 patients in the usual care group.
Current views on the potentials of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) as Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis based on recent studies and previous respiratory pandemics
Reviews in Medical Virology. 2021
Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) has been investigated as a treatment for COVID-19. This review evaluates CPT in COVID-19 and other viral respiratory diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and influenza. PubMed and Google scholar databases were used to collect eligible publications until 8 December 2020. Meta-analysis used Mantel-Haenszel risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) and pooled analysis for individual patient data with inverse variance weighted average. The study is registered at PROSPERO with the number of CRD4200270579. Forty-four studies with 36,716 participants were included in the pooled analysis and 20 studies in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed reduction of mortality (RR 0.57, 95% CI [0.43, 0.76], z = 3.86 [p < 0.001], I(2) = 44% [p = 0.03]) and higher number of discharged patients (RR 2.53, 95% CI [1.72, 3.72], z = 4.70 [p < 0.001], I(2) = 3% [p = 0.39]) in patients receiving CPT compared to standard care alone. A possible mechanism of action is prompt reduction in viral titre. Serious transfusion-related adverse events were reported to be less than 1% of cases, suggesting the overall safety of CPT; nevertheless, the number of patients participating in the studies was still limited. It is also important to notice that in all the studies, the majority of patients were also given other medications, such as antivirals, antibiotics and corticosteroid; furthermore, randomized controlled studies involving more patients and in combination with other treatment modalities are urgently needed.
Randomized controlled trial of convalescent plasma therapy against standard therapy in patients with severe COVID-19 disease
Scientific reports. 2021;11(1):9927
Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy in COVID-19 disease may improve clinical outcome in severe disease. This pilot study was undertaken to inform feasibility and safety of further definitive studies. This was a prospective, interventional and randomized open label pilot trial in patients with severe COVID-19. Twenty COVID-19 patients received two 200 ml transfusions of convalescent patient CP over 24-h compared with 20 who received standard of care. The primary outcome was the requirement for ventilation (non-invasive or mechanical ventilation). The secondary outcomes were biochemical parameters and mortality at 28 days. The CP group were a higher risk group with higher ferritin levels (p < 0.05) though respiratory indices did not differ. The primary outcome measure was required in 6 controls and 4 patients on CP (risk ratio 0.67, 95% CI 0.22-2.0, p = 0.72); mean time on ventilation (NIV or MV) did not differ. There were no differences in secondary measures at the end of the study. Two patients died in the control and one patient in the CP arm. There were no significant differences in the primary or secondary outcome measures between CP and standard therapy, although a larger definitive study is needed for confirmation. However, the study did show that CP therapy appears to be safe in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with hypoxia.Clinical trials registration NCT04356534: 22/04/2020.
Immunomodulatory therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection: a systematic literature review to inform EULAR points to consider
Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 2021
OBJECTIVE To summarise the available information on efficacy and safety of immunomodulatory agents in SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS As part of a European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) taskforce, a systematic literature search was conducted from January 2019 to 11 December 2020. Two reviewers independently identified eligible studies according to the Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcome framework and extracted data on efficacy and safety of immunomodulatory agents used therapeutically in SARS-CoV-2 infection at any stage. The risk of bias was assessed with validated tools. RESULTS Of the 60 372 records, 401 articles were eligible for inclusion. Studies were at variable risk of bias. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were available for the following drugs: hydroxychloroquine (n=12), glucocorticoids (n=6), tocilizumab (n=4), convalescent plasma (n=4), interferon beta (n=2), intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) (n=2) and n=1 each for anakinra, baricitinib, colchicine, leflunomide, ruxolitinib, interferon kappa and vilobelimab. Glucocorticoids were able to reduce mortality in specific subsets of patients, while conflicting data were available about tocilizumab. Hydroxychloroquine was not beneficial at any disease stage, one RCT with anakinra was negative, one RCT with baricitinib+remdesivir was positive, and individual trials on some other compounds provided interesting, although preliminary, results. CONCLUSION Although there is emerging evidence about immunomodulatory therapies for the management of COVID-19, conclusive data are scarce with some conflicting data. Since glucocorticoids seem to improve survival in some subsets of patients, RCTs comparing glucocorticoids alone versus glucocorticoids plus anticytokine/immunomodulatory treatment are warranted. This systematic literature review informed the initiative to formulate EULAR 'points to consider' on COVID-19 pathophysiology and immunomodulatory treatment from the rheumatology perspective.
Convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 critically ill patients during advanced phases of clinical trials and their preliminary results
Einstein (Sao Paulo, Brazil). 2021;19:eRW6186
The objective of this study was to highlight the global scientific effort to fight the SARS-CoV-2, addressing the preliminary results of passive immunization through convalescent plasma. We performed a search at the major databases of interventional clinical trial protocols about the transfusion of convalescent plasma in patients with COVID-19, as well as, published articles (n≥25), using the following search strategy: [(COVID-19 OR SARS-CoV-2 OR nCoV-2019) AND (Convalescent plasma OR Plasma exchange) AND (Treatment OR Therapy)]. A total of 24 interventional clinical trial protocols (advanced in phases II-III, III, and IV) were included in this review, as well as three studies that had enough outcomes to evaluate the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with COVID-19. All interventional clinical trial protocols applied approximately 500mL of convalescent plasma (from single or more donations) in hospitalized patients, mainly in patients with severe disease associated with standard therapy for COVID-19, and compared to placebo or standard therapy plus specific drugs. Most of interventional clinical trial protocols are multicenter, and the phase IV studies are recruiting at intercontinental centers of North America, Oceania, Europe, but most are recruiting center inside their own county. The three studies published reported similar approach of convalescent plasma intervention with decrease in length of stay, mortality, with less than 4% of adverse events, mainly for treating critical cases with life-threatening disease. All advanced clinical trials focused on convalescent plasma therapy in patients with COVID-19 hospitalized in severe conditions, and the preliminary results provide strong evidence for therapy for the COVID-19 patients.
A randomized double-blind controlled trial of convalescent plasma in adults with severe COVID-19
The Journal of clinical investigation. 2021
BACKGROUND Although convalescent plasma has been widely used to treat severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), data from randomized controlled trials that support its efficacy are limited. METHODS We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among adults hospitalized with severe and critical COVID-19 at five sites in New York City (USA) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Patients were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive a single transfusion of either convalescent plasma or placebo (normal control plasma). The primary outcome was clinical status at 28 days following randomization, measured using an ordinal scale and analyzed using a proportional odds model in the intention-to-treat population. RESULTS Of 223 participants enrolled, 150 were randomized to receive convalescent plasma and 73 to normal control plasma. At 28 days, no significant improvement in clinical status was observed in participants randomized to convalescent plasma (OR 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83-2.68, p=0.180). However, 28-day mortality was significantly lower in participants randomized to convalescent plasma versus control plasma (19/150 [12.6%] versus 18/73 [24.6%], OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.22-0.91, p=0.034). The median titer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody in infused convalescent plasma units was 1:160 (IQR 1:80-1:320). In a subset of nasopharyngeal swab samples from Brazil that underwent genomic sequencing, no evidence of neutralization-escape mutants was detected. CONCLUSIONS In adults hospitalized with severe COVID-19, use of convalescent plasma was not associated with significant improvement in clinical status at day 28. However, a significant improvement in mortality was observed, which warrants further evaluation. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04359810FUNDING. Amazon Foundation. Skoll Foundation.
Two patients with rituximab associated low gammaglobulin levels and relapsed covid-19 infections treated with convalescent plasma
Transfusion and Apheresis Science : Official Journal of the World Apheresis Association : Official Journal of the European Society for Haemapheresis. 2021;:103104
Patients with haematological malignancies are considered to be a risk group for developing severe Coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Because of the limitations of therapeutic options, the development of new treatment strategies is mandatory, such as convalescent plasma (CP). Herein we report the use of CP therapy as an off-label indication in two lymphoma patients with relapsed COVID-19 in the setting of low gammaglobulin levels because of previous rituximab chemo-immunotherapy. Both were PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2 but had an absence of antibodies to the virus more than one month later of symptoms initiation. They developed important respiratory and neurological complications. After CP infusion, neutralising antibodies were detected and viral load dissapeared in both patients leading to clinical improvement with no more Covid-19 relapse.
Convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin for people with COVID-19: a living systematic review
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2021;5(5):Cd013600
BACKGROUND Convalescent plasma and hyperimmune immunoglobulin may reduce mortality in patients with viral respiratory diseases, and are being investigated as potential therapies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A thorough understanding of the current body of evidence regarding benefits and risks of these interventions is required. OBJECTIVES Using a living systematic review approach, to assess whether convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin transfusion is effective and safe in the treatment of people with COVID-19; and to maintain the currency of the evidence. SEARCH METHODS To identify completed and ongoing studies, we searched the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease Research Database, MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, the Epistemonikos COVID-19 L*OVE Platform, and trial registries. Searches were done on 17 March 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin for COVID-19, irrespective of disease severity, age, gender or ethnicity. For safety assessments, we also included non-controlled non-randomised studies of interventions (NRSIs) if 500 or more participants were included. We excluded studies that included populations with other coronavirus diseases (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)), as well as studies evaluating standard immunoglobulin. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We followed standard Cochrane methodology. To assess bias in included studies, we used the Cochrane 'Risk of Bias 2' tool for RCTs, and for NRSIs, the assessment criteria for observational studies, provided by Cochrane Childhood Cancer. We rated the certainty of evidence, using the GRADE approach, for the following outcomes: all-cause mortality, improvement and worsening of clinical status (for individuals with moderate to severe disease), development of severe clinical COVID-19 symptoms (for individuals with asymptomatic or mild disease), quality of life (including fatigue and functional independence), grade 3 or 4 adverse events, and serious adverse events. MAIN RESULTS We included 13 studies (12 RCTs, 1 NRSI) with 48,509 participants, of whom 41,880 received convalescent plasma. We did not identify any completed studies evaluating hyperimmune immunoglobulin. We identified a further 100 ongoing studies evaluating convalescent plasma or hyperimmune immunoglobulin, and 33 studies reporting as being completed or terminated. Individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and moderate to severe disease Eleven RCTs and one NRSI investigated the use of convalescent plasma for 48,349 participants with moderate to severe disease. Nine RCTs compared convalescent plasma to placebo treatment or standard care alone, and two compared convalescent plasma to standard plasma (results not included in abstract). Effectiveness of convalescent plasma We included data on nine RCTs (12,875 participants) to assess the effectiveness of convalescent plasma compared to placebo or standard care alone. Convalescent plasma does not reduce all-cause mortality at up to day 28 (risk ratio (RR) 0.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.92 to 1.05; 7 RCTs, 12,646 participants; high-certainty evidence). It has little to no impact on clinical improvement for all participants when assessed by liberation from respiratory support (RR not estimable; 8 RCTs, 12,682 participants; high-certainty evidence). It has little to no impact on the chance of being weaned or liberated from invasive mechanical ventilation for the subgroup of participants requiring invasive mechanical ventilation at baseline (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.93; 2 RCTs, 630 participants; low-certainty evidence). It does not reduce the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.08; 4 RCTs, 11,765 participants; high-certainty evidence). We did not identify any subgroup differences. We did not identify any studies reporting quality of life, and therefore, do not know whether convalescent plasma has any impact on quality of life. One RCT assessed resolution of fatigue on day 7, but we are very uncertain about the effect (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.42; 309 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Safety of convalescent plasma We included results from eight RCTs, and one NRSI, to assess the safety of convalescent plasma. Some of the RCTs reported on safety data only for the convalescent plasma group. We are uncertain whether convalescent plasma increases or reduces the risk of grade 3 and 4 adverse events (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.41; 4 RCTs, 905 participants; low-certainty evidence), and serious adverse events (RR 1.24, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.90; 2 RCTs, 414 participants; low-certainty evidence). A summary of reported events of the NRSI (reporting safety data for 20,000 of 35,322 transfused participants), and four RCTs reporting safety data only for transfused participants (6125 participants) are included in the full text. Individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and asymptomatic or mild disease We identified one RCT reporting on 160 participants, comparing convalescent plasma to placebo treatment (saline). Effectiveness of convalescent plasma We are very uncertain about the effect of convalescent plasma on all-cause mortality (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.09 to 2.65; very low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain about the effect of convalescent plasma on developing severe clinical COVID-19 symptoms (RR not estimable; low-certainty evidence). We identified no study reporting quality of life. Safety of convalescent plasma We do not know whether convalescent plasma is associated with a higher risk of grade 3 or 4 adverse events (very low-certainty evidence), or serious adverse events (very low-certainty evidence). This is a living systematic review. We search weekly for new evidence and update the review when we identify relevant new evidence. Please refer to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for the current status of this review. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS We have high certainty in the evidence that convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with moderate to severe disease does not reduce mortality and has little to no impact on measures of clinical improvement. We are uncertain about the adverse effects of convalescent plasma. While major efforts to conduct research on COVID-19 are being made, heterogeneous reporting of outcomes is still problematic. There are 100 ongoing studies and 33 studies reporting in a study registry as being completed or terminated. Publication of ongoing studies might resolve some of the uncertainties around hyperimmune immunoglobulin therapy for people with any disease severity, and convalescent plasma therapy for people with asymptomatic or mild disease.
Patients with COVID-19 (13 studies, n= 48,509).
Convalescent plasma (n= 41,880) or hyperimmune immunoglobulin.
Standard plasma, placebo treatment or standard care alone,
Convalescent plasma does not reduce all-cause mortality at up to day 28 (risk ratio (RR) 0.98, 7 RCTs, 12,646 participants; high-certainty evidence). It has little to no impact on clinical improvement for all participants when assessed by liberation from respiratory support (RR not estimable, 8 RCTs, 12,682 participants; high-certainty evidence). It has little to no impact on the chance of being weaned or liberated from invasive mechanical ventilation for the subgroup of participants requiring invasive mechanical ventilation at baseline (RR 1.04, 2 RCTs, 630 participants; low-certainty evidence). It does not reduce the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (RR 0.98, 4 RCTs, 11,765 participants; high-certainty evidence). There was low-certainty evidence on whether convalescent plasma increases or reduces the risk of grade 3 and 4 adverse events (RR 0.90, 4 RCTs, 905 participants), and serious adverse events (RR 1.24, 2 RCTs, 414 participants). No completed studies were identified on quality of life, or hyperimmune immunoglobulin therapy.
Efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Journal of Clinical Apheresis. 2021
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.
Clinical effectiveness of convalescent plasma in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease. 2021;15:17534666211028077
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.