Three-month and six-month outcomes of patients with COVID-19 associated hyperinflammation treated with short-term immunosuppressive therapy: follow-up of the CHIC study

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RMD Open. 2021 Nov;7(3):e001906. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2021-001906.


OBJECTIVES: To prospectively investigate differences in medium-term patient-reported outcome measures and objective functional outcome measures, between patients receiving and those not receiving intensive short-term immunosuppressive therapy for coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)-associated hyperinflammation.

METHODS: Patients previously included in the COVID-19 High-intensity Immunosuppression in Cytokine storm syndrome (CHIC) study who received immunosuppressive treatment versus standard of care for COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation were invited for follow-up at 3 and 6 months after hospitalisation. At both visits, patients were assessed by a pulmonologist, completed quality of life (QoL) questionnaires and performed pulmonary and exercise function tests. At 3 months, patients additionally completed questionnaires on dyspnoea, anxiety, depression and trauma. Outcomes were compared between patients receiving and those not receiving intensive short-term immunosuppressive therapy for COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation.

RESULTS: 131 (66.5%) patients survived hospitalisation due to COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation and 118 (90.1%) were included. QoL questionnaires, pulmonary- and exercise function tests showed improvement between 3 and 6 months after discharge, which was similar in both groups. Assessed patients reached levels that were close to levels predicted from the normal population. In contrast, diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide was disturbed in both groups: 69.6% predicted (SD 16.2) and 73.5% predicted (SD 16.5) in control group and treated group, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: No differences in medium-term outcomes are demonstrated in survivors of COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation treated or not treated with methylprednisolone with or without tocilizumab during the acute phase. Short-term benefits of this therapy, as showed in the baseline CHIC study analysis, are thus not hampered by medium-term adverse events.

PMID:34819387 | DOI:10.1136/rmdopen-2021-001906