Rev Invest Clin. 2021 Oct 7. doi: 10.24875/RIC.21000404. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Trials evaluating safety and efficacy of tocilizumab in coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) show contradictory results.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of tocilizumab in hospital mortality among patients with severe COVID-19 in a third-level medical center.
METHODS: This prospective cohort study included patients with severe and critical COVID-19. Primary outcome was death during hospitalization. Secondary outcomes included invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), days on IMV, ventilator-free days (VFDs), length of hospital stay (LOS), and development of hospitalacquired infections (HAIs). Bivariate, multivariate, and propensity score matching analysis were performed.
RESULTS: During the study period, 99/794 (12%) patients received tocilizumab. Male patients, health care workers, and patients with increased inflammatory markers received tocilizumab more frequently. No difference in hospital mortality was observed between groups (34% vs. 34%, p = 0.98). Tocilizumab was not independently associated with mortality. No significant treatment effects were observed in propensity score analysis. IMV was more frequent (46% vs. 11%, p < 0.01) and LOS was longer (12 vs. 7 days, p < 0.01) in the tocilizumab group, reflecting increased severity. Although HAIs were more frequent in the tocilizumab group (22% vs. 10%, p < 0.01), no difference was seen after adjusting for IMV (38% vs. 40%, p = 0.86).
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, tocilizumab was not associated with decreased hospital mortality among patients with severe COVID-19.