Convalescent plasma treatment of severe COVID-19: A matched control study
Liu, Sean T. H. et al.
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Background Since December 2019, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic, causing mass morbidity and mortality. Prior studies in other respiratory infections suggest that convalescent plasma transfusion may offer benefit to some patients. Here, the outcomes of thirty-nine hospitalized patients with severe to life-threatening COVID-19 who received convalescent plasma transfusion were compared against a cohort of retrospectively matched controls. Methods Plasma recipients were selected based on supplemental oxygen needs at the time of enrollment and the time elapsed since the onset of symptoms. Recipients were transfused with convalescent plasma from donors with a SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2) anti-spike antibody titer of ≥1:320 dilution. Matched control patients were retrospectively identified within the electronic health record database. Supplemental oxygen requirements and survival were compared between plasma recipients and controls. Results Convalescent plasma recipients were more likely than control patients to remain the same or have improvements in their supplemental oxygen requirements by post-transfusion day 14, with an odds ratio of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.75~0.98; p=0.028). Plasma recipients also demonstrated improved survival, compared to control patients (log-rank test: p=0.039). In a covariates-adjusted Cox model, convalescent plasma transfusion improved survival for non-intubated patients (hazard ratio 0.19 (95% CI: 0.05 ~0.72); p=0.015), but not for intubated patients (1.24 (0.33~4.67); p=0.752). Conclusions Convalescent plasma transfusion is a potentially efficacious treatment option for patients hospitalized with COVID-19; however, these data suggest that non-intubated patients may benefit more than those requiring mechanical ventilation.