Impact of tocilizumab on mortality and/or invasive mechanical ventilation requirement in a cohort of 206 COVID-19 patients.Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Oct; 99:491-495.IJ
No therapy has proven to be effective yet to reduce mortality and/or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) requirement 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: mortality and/or IMV requirement.
Thirty patients were treated with TCZ and 176 patients were treated without TCZ. TCZ was used in patients in critical condition (oxygen therapy flow at TCZ onset was 10.5 L/min and 14/30 patients had ≥ 50% lung involvement on CT scan) as a rescue treatment (8/30 patients who died were not admitted in USC in regard to their comorbidities). However, mortality and/or IMV requirement were lower in patients with TCZ than in patients without TCZ (27% vs 52%, p = 0.009).
Despite the small sample size in the TCZ group, this result suggests that TCZ reduces mortality and/or IMV requirement in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. This notion needs to be confirmed and spread in the medical community.