Med Clin (Engl Ed). 2022 Apr 8;158(7):301-307. doi: 10.1016/j.medcle.2021.03.036. Epub 2022 May 3.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Tocilizumab is an interleukin-6 receptor-blocking agent proposed for the treatment of severe COVID-19; however, limited data are available on their efficacy. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of tocilizumab on the outcomes of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia by using propensity-score-matching (PSM) analysis.
METHODS: A retrospective observational analysis of hospitalized COVID-19 adult patients admitted to the Vall d'Hebron Hospital was performed between March and April 2020. We used the logistic regression to analyze the effect of tocilizumab on mortality, as main outcome, and PSM analysis to further validate their effect. Secondary outcomes were length-of-stay (LOS) and intensive-care-unit (ICU) stay. Same outcomes were also assessed for early tocilizumab administration, within 72 h after admission. Patients were selected by matching their individual propensity for receiving therapy with tocilizumab, conditional on their demographic and clinical variables.
RESULTS: A total of 544 COVID-19 patients were included, 197 (36.2%) were treated with tocilizumab of whom 147 were treated within the first 72 h after admission; and 347 were included in the control group. After PSM analyses, the results showed no association between tocilizumab use and overall mortality (OR = 1.03, 95%CI: 0.63-1.68). However, shorter ICU-stay in the tocilizumab group was found compared to the control group (Coefficient -4.27 95%CI: -6.63 to -1.92). Similar results were found in the early tocilizumab cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: The administration of tocilizumab in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 did not reduce the risk of mortality in our cohort of patients, regardless of the time of administration.