No drugs have yet been proven effective for the treatment of severe illness caused by SARS-CoV-2.
By neutralizing a key inflammatory factor in the cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19, tocilizumab (TCZ) can block the cytokine storm and reduce disease severity.
Our case-control study found that even though patients treated with TCZ had more comorbidities and presented with more severe forms, death and/or ICU admissions were higher in patients without TCZ.
This result strongly suggests that TCZ may reduce the number of ICU admissions and/or mortality in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.
No therapy has yet proven effective in COVID-19. Tocilizumab (TCZ) in patients with severe COVID-19 could be an effective treatment.
We conducted a retrospective case-control study in the Nord Franche-Comté Hospital, France. We compared the outcome of patients treated with TCZ and patients without TCZ considering a combined primary endpoint: death and/or ICU admissions.
Patients with TCZ (n=20) had a higher Charlson comorbidity index (5.3 [±2.4] vs 3.4 [±2.6], P=0.014), presented with more severe forms (higher level of oxygen therapy at 13L/min vs 6L/min, P<0.001), and had poorer biological findings (severe lymphopenia: 676/mm3 vs 914/mm3, P=0.037 and higher CRP level: 158mg/L vs 105mg/L, P=0.017) than patients without TCZ (n=25). However, death and/or ICU admissions were higher in patients without TCZ than in the TCZ group (72% vs 25%, P=0.002).
Despite the small sample size and retrospective nature of the work, this result strongly suggests that TCZ may reduce the number of ICU admissions and/or mortality in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Tocilizumab, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Mortality, Intensive care unit