Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Compassionate Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Due to COVID 19

Link to article at PubMed

Aging Dis. 2021 Apr 1;12(2):360-370. doi: 10.14336/AD.2020.1218. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have received particular attention due to their ability to inhibit inflammation caused by cytokine storm induced by COVID-19. In this way some patients have been treated successfully. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and describe the clinical changes after IV administration of allogeneic human umbilical cord MSC (ahUCMSC), in patients with bilateral pneumonia caused by COVID-19, complicated with severe ARDS, as compassionate treatment. This was a pilot, open-label, prospective, longitudinal study. Five patients that did not improve in their clinical conditions after 48 hours of receiving the standard medical management used by the Medical Center and with persistent PaO2/FiO2 less than 100 mmHg were enrolled. ahUCMSC were infused IV, at dose of 1x106 per Kg of body weight over 15 minutes. Patients were monitored after the infusion to detect adverse event. Pa02/FiO2, vital signs, D-dimer, C reactive protein and total lymphocytes were monitored for 21 days after the infusion or until the patient was discharged from the hospital. Descriptive statistics were used with means or medians and standard deviation or interquartile range according to the type of variable. The Wilcoxon's rank-sum was used for stationary samples. Adverse events occurred in three patients and were easily and quickly controlled. Immediately after the infusion of ahUCMSC, constant rise of PaO2/FiO2 was observed in all patients during the first 7 days, with statistical significance. Three patients survived and were extubated on the ninth day post-infusion. Two patients died at 13 and 15 days after infusion. The infusion of ahUCMSC in patients with severe ARDS caused by COVID-19, was safe, and demonstrated its anti-inflammatory capacity in the lungs, by improving the respiratory function expressed by PaO2 / FiO2, which allowed the survival of 3 patients, with extubation at 9 days.

PMID:33815870 | PMC:PMC7990366 | DOI:10.14336/AD.2020.1218

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