Convalescent plasma treatment of severe COVID-19: a propensity score–matched control study

TitleConvalescent plasma treatment of severe COVID-19: a propensity score–matched control study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLiu, Sean T. H., Lin Hung-Mo, Baine Ian, Wajnberg Ania, Gumprecht Jeffrey P., Rahman Farah, Rodriguez Denise, Tandon Pranai, Bassily-Marcus Adel, Bander Jeffrey, Sanky Charles, Dupper Amy, Zheng Allen, Nguyen Freddy T., Amanat Fatima, Stadlbauer Daniel, Altman Deena R., Chen Benjamin K., Krammer Florian, Mendu Damodara Rao, Firpo-Betancourt Adolfo, Levin Matthew A., Bagiella Emilia, Casadevall Arturo, Cordon-Cardo Carlos, Jhang Jeffrey S., Arinsburg Suzanne A., Reich David L., Aberg Judith A., and Bouvier Nicole M.
JournalNature Medicine
Date Published2020/09/15

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a new human disease with few effective treatments. Convalescent plasma, donated by persons who have recovered from COVID-19, is the acellular component of blood that contains antibodies, including those that specifically recognize SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies, when transfused into patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, are thought to exert an antiviral effect, suppressing virus replication before patients have mounted their own humoral immune responses. Virus-specific antibodies from recovered persons are often the first available therapy for an emerging infectious disease, a stopgap treatment while new antivirals and vaccines are being developed. This retrospective, propensity score–matched case–control study assessed the effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in 39 patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Oxygen requirements on day 14 after transfusion worsened in 17.9% of plasma recipients versus 28.2% of propensity score–matched controls who were hospitalized with COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 0.86; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.75–0.98; chi-square test P value = 0.025). Survival also improved in plasma recipients (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13–0.89; chi-square test P = 0.027). Convalescent plasma is potentially effective against COVID-19, but adequately powered, randomized controlled trials are needed.