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  • Franchini M
  • Corsini F
  • Focosi D
  • Cruciani M
Diagnostics (Basel). 2021 Sep 11;11(9) doi: 10.3390/diagnostics11091663.

Convalescent plasma (CP) from patients recovered from COVID-19 is one of the most studied anti-viral therapies against SARS-COV-2 infection. The aim of this study is to summarize the evidence from the available systematic reviews on the efficacy and safety of CP in COVID-19 through an overview of the published systematic reviews (SRs). A systematic literature search was conducted up to August 2021 in Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane and Medrxiv databases to identify systematic reviews focusing on CP use in COVID-19. Two review authors independently evaluated reviews for inclusion, extracted data and assessed quality of evidence using AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Reviews) and GRADE tools. The following outcomes were analyzed: mortality, viral clearance, clinical improvement, length of hospital stay, adverse reactions. In addition, where possible, subgroup analyses were performed according to study design (e.g., RCTs vs. non-RCTs), CP neutralizing antibody titer and timing of administration, and disease severity. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using the checklist for systematic reviews AMSTAR-2 and the GRADE assessment. Overall, 29 SRs met the inclusion criteria based on 53 unique primary studies (17 RCT and 36 non-RCT). Limitations to the methodological quality of reviews most commonly related to absence of a protocol (11/29) and funding sources of primary studies (27/29). Of the 89 analyses on which GRADE judgements were made, effect estimates were judged to be of high/moderate certainty in four analyses, moderate in 38, low in 38, very low in nine. Despite the variability in the certainty of the evidence, mostly related to the risk of bias and inconsistency, the results of this umbrella review highlight a mortality reduction in CP over standard therapy when administered early and at high titer, without increased adverse reactions.

  • Franchini M
  • Schiavulli M
  • Liumbruno GM
Expert Rev Hematol. 2021 Mar;14(3):263-270 doi: 10.1080/17474086.2021.1892483.

Introduction: Acquired hemophilia A (AHA) is a rare autoimmune disease caused by autoantibodies that bind and inactivate factor VIII (FVIII), predisposing to a potentially life-threatening bleeding.Areas covered: The main epidemiological, clinical, laboratory and therapeutic features of AHA are critically discussed. In particular, we focus on the hemostatic management of AHA patients analyzing the currently available treatment options and showing the latest data on the innovative hemostatic agents still under investigation. Authors searched the Medline and PubMed electronic databases for publication on AHA in the last twenty years.Expert opinion: While a rapid recognition of suspected cases of AHA is essential to make a correct diagnosis and appropriately and timely treat the hemorrhagic manifestations, the multidisciplinary approach to this challenging, rare and life-threatening bleeding disorder is of equal importance to improve patients' outcome. Although promising, the safety and efficacy of the clinical use of emicizumab in AHA needs to be validated by trials including an adequate number of patients, before registering the drug also for this indication.

  • Focosi, D.
  • Franchini, M.
Pathogen reduction technologies (PRT) have been recommended by many regulatory authorities to minimize the residual risk of transfusion-transmitted infections associated with COVID19 convalescent plasma. While its impact on safety and its cost-effectiveness are nowadays well proven, there is theoretical concern that PRT could impact efficacy of convalescent plasma by altering concentration and/or function of the neutralizing antibodies (nAb). We review here the evidence supporting a lack of significant detrimental effect from PRTs on nAbs.
  • Franchini M
  • Mengoli C
  • Cruciani M
  • Bergamini V
  • Presti F
  • et al.
Blood Transfus. 2018 Jul;16(4):329-337 doi: 10.2450/2018.0026-18.
BACKGROUND:

A number of clinical systematic review and meta-analysis have been published on the use of tranexamic in the obstetric setting. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of tranexamic acid in reducing blood loss when given prior to caesarean delivery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We searched the Cochrane Wounds Specialized Register, Cochrane Central, MEDLINE (through PUBMED), Embase, and SCOPUS electronic databases. We also searched clinical trials registries for ongoing and unpublished studies, and checked reference lists to identify additional studies. We used no restrictions with respect to language and date of publication. Two review authors independently performed study selection, "Risk of bias" assessment, and data extraction. Initial disagreements were resolved by discussion, or by including a third review author when necessary.

RESULTS:

We found 18 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that met our inclusion criteria. Overall, 1,764 women receiving intravenous tranexamic acid for prevention of bleeding following caesarean sections and 1,793 controls receiving placebo were enrolled in the 18 RCTs evaluated. The use of tranexamic acid compared to controls (placebo or no intervention) reduces post-partum haemorrhage >400 mL (risk ratio [RR] 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.24-0.65; 5 trials with a total of 786 participants), severe post-partum haemorrhage >1,000 mL (RR 0.32, 95% CI: 0.12-0.84; 5 trials with a total of 1,850 participants), and need for red blood cell transfusion (RR 0.30, 95% CI: 0.18-0.49; 10 trials with a total of 1,873 participants). No particular safety concerns on the use of this antifibrinolytic agent emerged from the analysis of the 18 RCTs included.

DISCUSSION:

Overall, the results of this meta-analysis support the evidence of a beneficial effect of tranexamic acid in reducing blood loss and need for blood transfusion in pregnant women undergoing caesarean section.