J Clin Med. 2021 Sep 28;10(19):4462. doi: 10.3390/jcm10194462.
The role of immunomodulatory agents in the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 has been of increasing interest. Anakinra, an interleukin-1 inhibitor, has been shown to offer significant clinical benefits in patients with COVID-19 and hyperinflammation. An updated systematic review and meta-analysis regarding the impact of anakinra on the outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was conducted. Studies, randomized or non-randomized with adjustment for confounders, reporting on the adjusted risk of death in patients treated with anakinra versus those not treated with anakinra were deemed eligible. A search was performed in PubMed/EMBASE databases, as well as in relevant websites, until 1 August 2021. The meta-analysis of six studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria (n = 1553 patients with moderate to severe pneumonia, weighted age 64 years, men 66%, treated with anakinra 50%, intubated 3%) showed a pooled hazard ratio for death in patients treated with anakinra at 0.47 (95% confidence intervals 0.34, 0.65). A meta-regression analysis did not reveal any significant associations between the mean age, percentage of males, mean baseline C-reactive protein levels, mean time of administration since symptoms onset among the included studies and the hazard ratios for death. All studies were considered as low risk of bias. The current evidence, although derived mainly from observational studies, supports a beneficial role of anakinra in the treatment of selected patients with COVID-19.