Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma Therapy in Hospitalized COVID- 19 Patients: A Single Center Retrospective Analysis of 190 Cases in Lebanon

Author(s): Olaywan L, Francis N, Iskandar S, Cheaitou AR. Fakhry B, Haddad Y

Introduction: Till date, there is still no specific therapeutic agent against Corona Virus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Convalescent plasma (CP) from recently recovered patients has emerged as a potential treatment. In front of conflicting results reported by recently published articles regarding benefits of CP, we sought in this study to investigate its efficacy in COVID-19 patients.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study that enrolled 190 patients confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive at Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui-University Medical Center, between 1st of December 2020 and 1st of March 2021. Patients were divided into CP and non-CP groups. Clinical characteristics, laboratory and respiratory parameters were compared between both groups. We assessed the benefit of CP by evaluating the survival rate, the improvement in laboratory parameters and the need for oxygen on discharge.

Results: Out of 190 patients, 35.2% received CP transfusion. When compared to non-CP group, CP patients were more likely to require Mechanical Ventilation and oxygen during hospitalization (p=0.027), and to be discharged on oxygen (p=0.033). After transfusion, only WBC count and ferritin levels significantly increased (p=0.048 and p=0.022 respectively). As for survival rate, it was significantly lower in CP group than non-CP group (51% vs. 67%, p=0.024). Even in mild diseased patients, survival rate of CP individuals was also significantly less than non-CP individuals (p=0.004). In addition, level of LDH (p=0.001) and ferritin (p=0.001) post transfusion were found to be higher in deceased patients.

Conclusion: Our study failed to prove that Convalescent Plasma is effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Our findings require further research.

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