Title

Early use of tocilizumab in solid organ transplant recipients with COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study in Saudi Arabia

Publication Name

Immunity, Inflammation and Disease

Abstract

Background: Tocilizumab was studied to reduce cytokine syndrome in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with conflicting results. We aim to study the early use of tocilizumab in SOT with COVID-19 pneumonia on low flow oxygen. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study that was conducted in two transplant centers in Saudi Arabia among 46 SOT with COVID-19 comparing 21 patients who received tocilizumab to 25 patients who received standard of care. Their clinical characteristics and outcomes were described. Results: Compared to patients who received standard of care, patients in the tocilizumab group were older (60.2 ± 12.8 vs. 48.6 ± 12.3, p =.003), had higher ferritin (862.1 ± 919.1 vs. 414 ± 447.3, p =.025) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (85 ± 83.1 vs. 42.9 ± 57.3, p =.012). More patients in the tocilizumab group required high flow oxygen (38.1% vs. 8.0%, p =.028) compared to patients on standard of care. There were no differences in mortality or mechanical ventilation requirement. Hospital stay was significantly shorter in the tocilizumab group than the standard of care group (9.6 ± 7.4 vs. 20.7 ± 11.7, p <.001). Conclusions: Early use of tocilizumab in SOT was associated with a shorter hospital stay. There was no difference in mortality rate and the requirement for mechanical ventilation in both groups.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iid3.587