Association between convalescent plasma treatment and mortality in COVID-19: a collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Cathrine Axfors, Perrine Janiaud, Andreas M. Schmitt, Janneke van’t Hooft, Emily R. Smith, Noah A. Haber, Akin Abayomi, Manal Abduljalil, Abdulkarim Abdulrahman, Yeny Acosta-Ampudia, Manuela Aguilar-Guisado, Farah Al-Beidh, Marissa M. Alejandria, Rachelle N. Alfonso, Mohammad Ali, Manaf AlQahtani, Juan Manuel Anaya, Mark Angelo C. Ang, Ismael F. Aomar, Luis E. ArgumanisAlexander Averyanov, Olga Balionis, Scott Berry, Nadia Birocco, Lynn B. Bonifacio, Asha C. Bowen, Abbie Bown, Carlos Cabello-Gutierrez, Bernardo Camacho, Adrian Camacho-Ortiz, Sally Campbell-Lee, Damon H. Cao, Ana Cardesa, Jose M. Carnate, German Jr J. Castillo, Rossana Cavallo, Fazle R. Chowdhury, Forhad U.H. Chowdhury, Giovannino Ciccone, Antonella Cingolani, Fresthel Monica M. Climacosa, Veerle Compernolle, Carlo Francisco N. Cortez, Abel Costa Neto, Sergio D’Antico, James Daly, Franca Danielle, Joshua S. Davis, Francesco Giuseppe De Rosa, Justin T. Denholm, Claudia M. Denkinger, Daniel Desmecht, Juan C. Díaz-Coronado, Juan A. Díaz Ponce-Medrano, Anne Françoise Donneau, Teresita E. Dumagay, Susanna Dunachie, Cecile C. Dungog, Olufemi Erinoso, Ivy Mae S. Escasa, Lise J. Estcourt, Amy Evans, Agnes L.M. Evasan, Christian J. Fareli, Veronica Fernandez-Sanchez, Claudia Galassi, Juan E. Gallo, Patricia J. Garcia, Patricia L. Garcia, Jesus A. Garcia, Mutien Garigliany, Elvira Garza-Gonzalez, Deonne Thaddeus V. Gauiran, Paula A. Gaviria García, Jose Antonio Giron-Gonzalez, David Gómez-Almaguer, Anthony C. Gordon, André Gothot, Jeser Santiago Grass Guaqueta, Cameron Green, David Grimaldi, Naomi E. Hammond, Heli Harvala, Francisco M. Heralde, Jesica Herrick, Alisa M. Higgins, Thomas E. Hills, Jennifer Hines, Karin Holm, Ashraful Hoque, Eric Hoste, Jose M. Ignacio, Alexander V. Ivanov, Maike Janssen, Jeffrey H. Jennings, Vivekanand Jha, Ruby Anne N. King, Jens Kjeldsen-Kragh, Paul Klenerman, Aditya Kotecha, Fiorella Krapp, Luciana Labanca, Emma Laing, Mona Landin-Olsson, Pierre François Laterre, Lyn Li Lim, Jodor Lim, Oskar Ljungquist, Jorge M. Llaca-Díaz, Concepción López-Robles, Salvador López-Cárdenas, Ileana Lopez-Plaza, Josephine Anne C. Lucero, Maria Lundgren, Juan Macías, Sandy C. Maganito, Anna Flor G. Malundo, Rubén D. Manrique, Paola M. Manzini, Miguel Marcos, Ignacio Marquez, Francisco Javier Martínez-Marcos, Ana M. Mata, Colin J. McArthur, Zoe K. McQuilten, Bryan J. McVerry, David K. Menon, Geert Meyfroidt, Ma Angelina L. Mirasol, Benoît Misset, James S. Molton, Alric V. Mondragon, Diana M. Monsalve, Parastoo Moradi Choghakabodi, Susan C. Morpeth, Paul R. Mouncey, Michel Moutschen, Carsten Müller-Tidow, Erin Murphy, Tome Najdovski, Alistair D. Nichol, Henrik Nielsen, Richard M. Novak, Matthew V.N. O’Sullivan, Julian Olalla, Akin Osibogun, Bodunrin Osikomaiya, Salvador Oyonarte, Juan M. Pardo-Oviedo, Mahesh C. Patel, David L. Paterson, Carlos A. Peña-Perez, Angel A. Perez-Calatayud, Eduardo Pérez-Alba, Anastasia Perkina, Naomi Perry, Mandana Pouladzadeh, Inmaculada Poyato, David J. Price, Anne Kristine H. Quero, Md M. Rahman, Md S. Rahman, Mayur Ramesh, Carolina Ramírez-Santana, Magnus Rasmussen, Megan A. Rees, Eduardo Rego, Jason A. Roberts, David J. Roberts, Yhojan Rodríguez, Jesús Rodríguez-Baño, Benjamin A. Rogers, Manuel Rojas, Alberto Romero, Kathryn M. Rowan, Fabio Saccona, Mehdi Safdarian, Maria Clariza M. Santos, Joe Sasadeusz, Gitana Scozzari, Manu Shankar-Hari, Gorav Sharma, Thomas Snelling, Alonso Soto, Pedrito Y. Tagayuna, Amy Tang, Geneva Tatem, Luciana Teofili, Steven Y.C. Tong, Alexis F. Turgeon, Januario D. Veloso, Balasubramanian Venkatesh, Yanet Ventura-Enriquez, Steve A. Webb, Lothar Wiese, Christian Wikén, Erica M. Wood, Gaukhar M. Yusubalieva, Kai Zacharowski, Ryan Zarychanski, Nina Khanna, David Moher, Steven N. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Convalescent plasma has been widely used to treat COVID-19 and is under investigation in numerous randomized clinical trials, but results are publicly available only for a small number of trials. The objective of this study was to assess the benefits of convalescent plasma treatment compared to placebo or no treatment and all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19, using data from all available randomized clinical trials, including unpublished and ongoing trials (Open Science Framework, https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/GEHFX). Methods: In this collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis, clinical trial registries (ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform), the Cochrane COVID-19 register, the LOVE database, and PubMed were searched until April 8, 2021. Investigators of trials registered by March 1, 2021, without published results were contacted via email. Eligible were ongoing, discontinued and completed randomized clinical trials that compared convalescent plasma with placebo or no treatment in COVID-19 patients, regardless of setting or treatment schedule. Aggregated mortality data were extracted from publications or provided by investigators of unpublished trials and combined using the Hartung–Knapp–Sidik–Jonkman random effects model. We investigated the contribution of unpublished trials to the overall evidence. Results: A total of 16,477 patients were included in 33 trials (20 unpublished with 3190 patients, 13 published with 13,287 patients). 32 trials enrolled only hospitalized patients (including 3 with only intensive care unit patients). Risk of bias was low for 29/33 trials. Of 8495 patients who received convalescent plasma, 1997 died (23%), and of 7982 control patients, 1952 died (24%). The combined risk ratio for all-cause mortality was 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.92; 1.02) with between-study heterogeneity not beyond chance (I2 = 0%). The RECOVERY trial had 69.8% and the unpublished evidence 25.3% of the weight in the meta-analysis. Conclusions: Convalescent plasma treatment of patients with COVID-19 did not reduce all-cause mortality. These results provide strong evidence that convalescent plasma treatment for patients with COVID-19 should not be used outside of randomized trials. Evidence synthesis from collaborations among trial investigators can inform both evidence generation and evidence application in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1170
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases

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