Convalescent Plasma Therapy in Late-State, Severe COVID-19 Infection

Link to article at PubMed

South Med J. 2023 May;116(5):427-433. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001546.


OBJECTIVES: Current evidence favors plasma to be effective against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in critically ill patients in the early stages of infection. We investigated the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma in specifically late-stage (designated as after 2 weeks of hospital admission) severe COVID-19 infection. We also conducted a literature review on the late-stage use of plasma in COVID-19.

METHODS: This case series examined eight COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) who met criteria for severe or life-threatening complications. Each patient received one dose (200 mL) of plasma. Clinical information was gathered in intervals of 1 day pretransfusion and 1 hour, 3 days, and 7 days posttransfusion. The primary outcome was effectiveness of plasma transfusion, measured by clinical improvement, laboratory parameters, and all-cause mortality.

RESULTS: Eight ICU patients received plasma late in the course of COVID-19 infection, on average at 16.13 days postadmission. On the day before transfusion, the averaged initial Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, PaO2:FiO2 ratio, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), and lymphocyte count were 6.5, 228.03, 8.63, and 1.19, respectively. Three days after plasma treatment, the group averages for the SOFA score (4.86), PaO2:FiO2 ratio (302.73), GCS (9.29), and lymphocyte count (1.75) improved. Although the mean GCS improved to 10.14 by posttransfusion day 7, the other means marginally worsened with an SOFA score of 5.43, a PaO2:FiO2 ratio of 280.44, and a lymphocyte count of 1.71. Clinical improvement was noted in six patients who were discharged from the ICU.

CONCLUSIONS: This case series provides evidence that convalescent plasma may be safe and effective in late-stage, severe COVID-19 infection. Results showed clinical improvement posttransfusion as well as decreased all-cause mortality in comparison to pretransfusion predicted mortality. Randomized controlled trials are needed to conclusively determine benefits, dosage, and timing of treatment.

PMID:37137479 | DOI:10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001546

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