High-titre methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma as an early treatment for outpatients with COVID-19: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial
The Lancet. Respiratory medicine. 2022
BACKGROUND Convalescent plasma has been proposed as an early treatment to interrupt the progression of early COVID-19 to severe disease, but there is little definitive evidence. We aimed to assess whether early treatment with convalescent plasma reduces the risk of hospitalisation and reduces SARS-CoV-2 viral load among outpatients with COVID-19. METHODS We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in four health-care centres in Catalonia, Spain. Adult outpatients aged 50 years or older with the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms 7 days or less before randomisation were eligible for enrolment. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive one intravenous infusion of either 250-300 mL of ABO-compatible high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres (EUROIMMUN ratio ≥6) methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma (experimental group) or 250 mL of sterile 0·9% saline solution (control). Randomisation was done with the use of a central web-based system with concealment of the trial group assignment and no stratification. To preserve masking, we used opaque tubular bags that covered the investigational product and the infusion catheter. The coprimary endpoints were the incidence of hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline and the mean change in viral load (in log(10) copies per mL) in nasopharyngeal swabs from baseline to day 7. The trial was stopped early following a data safety monitoring board recommendation because more than 85% of the target population had received a COVID-19 vaccine. Primary efficacy analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population, safety was assessed in all patients who received the investigational product. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04621123. FINDINGS Between Nov 10, 2020, and July 28, 2021, we assessed 909 patients with confirmed COVID-19 for inclusion in the trial, 376 of whom were eligible and were randomly assigned to treatment (convalescent plasma n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=160]; placebo n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=166]). Median age was 56 years (IQR 52-62) and the mean symptom duration was 4·4 days (SD 1·4) before random assignment. In the intention-to-treat population, hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline occurred in 22 (12%) participants who received convalescent plasma versus 21 (11%) who received placebo (relative risk 1·05 [95% CI 0·78 to 1·41]). The mean change in viral load from baseline to day 7 was -2·41 log(10) copies per mL (SD 1·32) with convalescent plasma and -2·32 log(10) copies per mL (1·43) with placebo (crude difference -0·10 log(10) copies per mL [95% CI -0·35 to 0·15]). One participant with mild COVID-19 developed a thromboembolic event 7 days after convalescent plasma infusion, which was reported as a serious adverse event possibly related to COVID-19 or to the experimental intervention. INTERPRETATION Methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma did not prevent progression from mild to severe illness and did not reduce viral load in outpatients with COVID-19. Therefore, formal recommendations to support the use of convalescent plasma in outpatients with COVID-19 cannot be concluded. FUNDING Grifols, Crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono.
Prospective individual patient data meta-analysis of two randomized trials on convalescent plasma for COVID-19 outpatients
Nature communications. 2022;13(1):2583
Data on convalescent plasma (CP) treatment in COVID-19 outpatients are scarce. We aimed to assess whether CP administered during the first week of symptoms reduced the disease progression or risk of hospitalization of outpatients. Two multicenter, double-blind randomized trials (NCT04621123, NCT04589949) were merged with data pooling starting when <20% of recruitment target was achieved. A Bayesian-adaptive individual patient data meta-analysis was implemented. Outpatients aged ≥50 years and symptomatic for ≤7days were included. The intervention consisted of 200-300mL of CP with a predefined minimum level of antibodies. Primary endpoints were a 5-point disease severity scale and a composite of hospitalization or death by 28 days. Amongst the 797 patients included, 390 received CP and 392 placebo; they had a median age of 58 years, 1 comorbidity, 5 days symptoms and 93% had negative IgG antibody-test. Seventy-four patients were hospitalized, 6 required mechanical ventilation and 3 died. The odds ratio (OR) of CP for improved disease severity scale was 0.936 (credible interval (CI) 0.667-1.311); OR for hospitalization or death was 0.919 (CI 0.592-1.416). CP effect on hospital admission or death was largest in patients with ≤5 days of symptoms (OR 0.658, 95%CI 0.394-1.085). CP did not decrease the time to full symptom resolution. TRIAL REGISTRATION Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04621123 and NCT04589949. REGISTRATION NCT04621123 and NCT04589949 on https://www. CLINICALTRIALS gov.
COVID-19 outpatients enrolled in two multicenter trials: COnV-ert and CoV-Early (n= 797).
Convalescent plasma (n= 390).
Placebo (n= 392).
Seventy-four patients were hospitalized, 6 required mechanical ventilation and 3 died. The odds ratio (OR) of convalescent plasma for improved disease severity scale was 0.936; OR for hospitalization or death was 0.919. The convalescent plasma effect on hospital admission or death was largest in patients with ≤5 days of symptoms (OR 0.658). Convalescent plasma did not decrease the time to full symptom resolution.