Tocilizumab for the Treatment of COVID-19 Among Hospitalized Patients: A Matched Retrospective Cohort Analysis
Click for External Resource*
Click to read full article*
*The link above may share a zip file (.zip) hosted on repository.netecweb.org. Zip files will download automatically.
Background: There is currently no single treatment that mitigates all harms caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 antagonist, may have a role as an adjunctive immune-modulating therapy.
Methods: This was an observational retrospective study of hospitalized adult patients with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The intervention group comprised patients who received tocilizumab; the comparator arm was drawn from patients who did not receive tocilizumab. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality censored at 28 days; secondary outcomes were all-cause mortality at discharge, time to clinical improvement, and rates of secondary infections. Marginal structural Cox models via inverse probability treatment weights were applied to estimate the effect of tocilizumab. A time-dependent propensity score-matching method was used to generate a 1:1 match for tocilizumab recipients; infectious diseases experts then manually reviewed these matched charts to identify secondary infections.
Results: This analysis included 90 tocilizumab recipients and 1669 controls. Under the marginal structural Cox model, tocilizumab was associated with a 62% reduced hazard of death (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.38; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.70) and no change in time to clinical improvement (aHR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.87). The 1:1 matched data set also showed a lower mortality rate (27.8% vs 34.4%) and reduced hazards of death (aHR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.88). Elevated inflammatory markers were associated with reduced hazards of death among tocilizumab recipients compared with controls. Secondary infection rates were similar between the 2 groups.
Conclusions: Tocilizumab may provide benefit in a subgroup of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who have elevated biomarkers of hyperinflammation, without increasing the risk of secondary infection.
Keywords: COVID-19; IL-6; SARS-CoV-2; retrospective; tocilizumab.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.