Early but not late convalescent plasma is associated with better survival in moderate-to-severe COVID-19

Neima Briggs, Michael V. Gormally, Fangyong Li, Sabrina L. Browning, Miriam M. Treggiari, Alyssa Morrison, Maudry Laurent-Rolle, Yanhong Deng, Jeanne E. Hendrickson, Christopher A. Tormey, Mahalia S. Desruisseaux

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20 Scopus citations


Background Limited therapeutic options exist for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is a potential therapeutic, but there is limited data for patients with moderate-to-severe disease. Research question What are outcomes associated with administration of CCP in patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 infection? Study design and methods We conducted a propensity score-matched analysis of patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19. The primary endpoints were in-hospital mortality. Secondary endpoints were number of days alive and ventilator-free at 30 days; length of hospital stay; and change in WHO scores from CCP administration (or index date) to discharge. Of 151 patients who received CCP, 132 had complete follow-up data. Patients were transfused after a median of 6 hospital days; thus, we investigated the effect of convalescent plasma before and after this timepoint with 77 early (within 6 days) and 55 late (after 6 days) recipients. Among 3,217 inpatients who did not receive CCP, 2,551 were available for matching. Results Early CCP recipients, of whom 31 (40%) were on mechanical ventilation, had lower 14-day (15% vs 23%) and 30-day (38% vs 49%) mortality compared to a matched unexposed cohort, with nearly 50% lower likelihood of in-hospital mortality (HR 0.52, [95% CI 0.28–0.96]; P = 0.036). Early plasma recipients had more days alive and ventilator-free at 30 days (+3.3 days, [95% CI 0.2 to 6.3 days]; P = 0.04) and improved WHO scores at 7 days (-0.8, [95% CI: -1.2 to -0.4]; P = 0.0003) and hospital discharge (-0.9, [95% CI: -1.5 to -0.3]; P = 0.004) compared to the matched unexposed cohort. No clinical differences were observed in late plasma recipients. Interpretation Early administration of CCP improves outcomes in patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, while improvement was not observed with late CCP administration. The importance of timing of administration should be addressed in specifically designed trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0254453
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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