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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 263-269

Comparison of tocilizumab and high-dose methylprednisolone pulse on outcomes in severe corona virus disease-2019: TAME-COVID, a retrospective multicentric study


1 Department of Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
3 Department of Nephrology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
4 Department of Medicine, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
5 Department of Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
6 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
7 Department of Cardiology, Hero DMC Heart Institute, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India
8 Department of Critical Care Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Simran Kaur
44-B, Rishi Nagar, Backside BSNL Exchange, Ludhiana, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijabmr.ijabmr_448_21

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Background: India recently encountered fierce second wave of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and scarcity of novel medications added to the management challenges. Various studies have highlighted the effectiveness of tocilizumab and high-dose steroids in severe COVIDs, but none has compared their efficacy. Materials and Methods: This retrospective multi-centric analysis compares intravenous tocilizumab (8 mg/kg/day, maximum dose-800 mg), and intravenous Methylprednisolone Pulse (MPS-1 g/day for 3 days) in severe COVID-19. Both the groups had additionally received the standard of care COVID treatment as per protocol. Outcomes were assessed at 30 days. Results: A total of 336 patients, with 249 receiving MPS and 87 receiving tocilizumab were compared. Majority of these were males (72.9%) with a mean age of 57.4 ± 13.6 years. Diabetes was the most common comorbidity. Patients in both groups had comparable age distribution, comorbidities, presenting mean-arterial pressures, d-Dimer levels, serum ferritin, serum leukocyte-dehydrogenase, and procalcitonin. However, the tocilizumab group had more number of males, higher incidence of coronary artery disease, more tachypnea and leukocytosis, more number of patients with severe acute respiratory disease syndrome (PaO2/FiO2 ratio <100), and higher C-reactive protein levels at presentation. Both groups had comparable adverse events' profile. Tocilizumab group had lesser requirement of invasive ventilation than MPS group (17% vs. 29%, P = 0.038), however mortality at the end of 30 days follow-up was similar (36% vs. 34% respectively; P = 0.678). Conclusions: Tocilizumab decreased the need for invasive ventilation in severe COVID-19; however, it did not translate to improved survival. A planned prospective randomized study is recommended in this respect to compare their efficacy.


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