A retrospective evaluation of COVID-19 patients treated with Tocilizumab: who should be treated?
Introduction: Tocilizumab, can be used in the treatment of COVID-19 in patients developing cytokine storms. This study retrospectively evaluated patients treated with Tocilizumab.
Methodology: This study included 23 patients (17 men) admitted to the hospital and received Tocilizumab due to cytokine storms. The patients were categorized into three groups: “moderate, severe, and critical”. Clinical outcomes after 7 days of hospitalization were classified as “death, disease aggravation, clinical stabilization, and clinical improvement”.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 58±10.1 years. 52.2% of the patients were severely ill, and 47.8% were critically ill. After tocilizumab treatment, the mean lymphocyte count increased in all patients; the C-reactive protein levels dropped rapidly, except for one patient. After the first dose, the patients' fever dropped dramatically, and their oxygen support needs decreased. During the treatment, 82.6% of the patients were in the intensive care unit. At the end of the treatment, 56.5% had clinical improvement, 13% had clinical stabilization, and 4.3% had aggravation. Mortality occurred in 26.1%; 60.9% were discharged within a mean time of 19.14 ± 13.57 days after their treatment, and 18.2% of the critically ill and 91.7% of the severely ill patients recovered.
Conclusions: Despite high rates of recovery and discharge after the tocilizumab treatment in the severely ill patients, more than half of the critically ill patients died. Early tocilizumab treatment resulted in a high survival rate and reduced the rates of progression to more critical states and mortality. Tocilizumab treatment should be given early in patients developing cytokine storms.
Copyright (c) 2021 Semiha Çelik Ekinci, Sinem Akkaya Işık
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