PLoS One. 2022 Feb 23;17(2):e0264301. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264301. eCollection 2022.
Remdesivir (RDV) reduces time to clinical improvement in hospitalized COVID -19 patients requiring supplemental oxygen. Dexamethasone improves survival in those requiring oxygen support. Data is lacking on the efficacy of combination therapy in patients on mechanical ventilation. We analyzed for comparative outcomes between Corticosteroid (CS) therapy with combined Corticosteroid and Remdesivir (CS-RDV) therapy. We conducted an observational cohort study of patients aged 18 to 90 with COVID-19 requiring ventilatory support using TriNetX (COVID-19 Research Network) between January 20, 2020, and February 9, 2021. We compared patients who received at least 48 hours of CS-RDV combination therapy to CS monotherapy. The primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality rates in propensity-matched (PSM) cohorts. Secondary outcomes were Length of Stay (LOS), Secondary Bacterial Infections (SBI), and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and Pseudomonas infections. We used univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models and stratified log-rank tests. Of 388 patients included, 91 (23.5%) received CS-RDV therapy, and 297 (76.5%) received CS monotherapy. After propensity score matching, with 74 patients in each cohort, all-cause mortality was 36.4% and 29.7% in the CS-RDV and CS therapy, respectively (P = 0.38). We used a Kaplan-Meier with a log-rank test on follow up period (P = 0.23), and a Hazards Ratio model (P = 0.26). SBI incidence was higher in the CS group (13.5% vs. 35.1%, P = 0.02) with a similar LOS (13.4 days vs. 13.4 days, P = 1.00) and similar incidence of MRSA/Pseudomonas infections (13.5% vs. 13.5%, P = 1.00) in both the groups. Therefore, CS-RDV therapy is non-inferior to CS therapy in reducing 28-day all-cause in-hospital mortality but associated with a significant decrease in the incidence of SBI in critically ill COVID-19 patients.