Thymosin α1 therapy in critically ill patients with COVID-19: A multicenter retrospective cohort study

Link to article at PubMed

Int Immunopharmacol. 2020 Aug 6;88:106873. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2020.106873. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 characterized by refractory hypoxemia increases patient mortality because of immunosuppression effects. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of immunomodulatory with thymosin α1 for critical COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: This multicenter retrospective cohort study was performed in 8 government-designated treatment centers for COVID-19 patients in China from Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020. Thymosin α1 was administrated with 1.6 mg qd or q12 h for >5 days. The primary outcomes were the 28-day and 60-day mortality, the secondary outcomes were hospital length of stay and the total duration of the disease. Subgroup analysis was carried out according to clinical classification.

RESULTS: Of the 334 enrolled COVID-19 patients, 42 (12.6%) died within 28 days, and 55 (16.5%) died within 60 days of hospitalization. There was a significant difference in the 28-day mortality between the thymosin α1 and non-thymosin α1-treated groups in adjusted model (P = 0.016), without obvious differences in the 60-day mortality and survival time in the overall cohort (P > 0.05). In the subgroup analysis, it was found that thymosin α1 therapy significantly reduced 28-day mortality (Hazards Ratios HR, 0.11, 95% confidence interval CI 0.02-0.63, P=0.013) via improvement of Pa02/FiO2 (P = 0.036) and prolonged the hospital length of stay (P = 0.024) as well as the total duration of the disease (P=0.001) in the critical type patients, especially those aged over 64 years, with white blood cell >6.8×109/L, neutrophil >5.3×109/L, lymphocyte < 0.73 × 109/L, PaO2/FiO2 < 196, SOFA > 3, and acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) II > 7.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that treatment with thymosin α1 can markedly decrease 28-day mortality and attenuate acute lung injury in critical type COVID-19 patients.

PMID:32795897 | PMC:PMC7409727 | DOI:10.1016/j.intimp.2020.106873

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