Effectiveness and safety of intravenous tocilizumab to treat COVID-19-associated hyperinflammatory syndrome: Covizumab-6 observational cohort.Clin Immunol. 2021 02; 223:108631.CI
Although the starting event in COVID-19 is a viral infection some patients present with an over-exuberant inflammatory response, leading to acute lung injury (ALI) and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Since IL-6 plays a critical role in the inflammatory response, we assessed the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab (TCZ) in this single-centre, observational study in all Covid-19 in-patient with a proven SARS-CoV-2 rapidly progressing infection to prevent ALI and ARDS. 104 patients with COVID-19 treated with TCZ had a lower mortality rate (5·8%) compared with the regional mortality rate (11%), hospitalized patient's mortality (10%), and slightly lower than hospitalized patients treated with our standard of care alone (6%). We found that TCZ rapidly decreased acute phase reactants, ferritin and liver release of proteins. D-Dimer decreased slowly. We did not observe specific safety concerns. Early administration of IL6-R antagonists in COVID-19 patients with impending hyperinflammatory response, may be safe and effective treatment to prevent, ICU admission and further complications.