The effects of convalescent plasma (CP) therapy in hospitalised patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain uncertain. This study investigates the effect of CP on clinical improvement in these patients.
This is an investigator-initiated, randomised, parallel arm, open-label, superiority clinical trial. Patients were randomly (1:1) assigned to two infusions of CP plus standard of care (SOC) or SOC alone. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with clinical improvement 28 days after enrolment.
A total of 160 (80 in each arm) patients (66.3% critically ill, 33.7% severely ill) completed the trial. The median (interquartile range (IQR)) age was 60.5 (48–68) years; 58.1% were male and the median (IQR) time from symptom onset to randomisation was 10 (8–12) days. Neutralising antibody titres >1:80 were present in 133 (83.1%) patients at baseline. The proportion of patients with clinical improvement on day 28 was 61.3% in the CP+SOC group and 65.0% in the SOC group (difference −3.7%, 95% CI −18.8–11.3%). The results were similar in the severe and critically ill subgroups. There was no significant difference between CP+SOC and SOC groups in pre-specified secondary outcomes, including 28-day mortality, days alive and free of respiratory support and duration of invasive ventilatory support. Inflammatory and other laboratory marker values on days 3, 7 and 14 were similar between groups.
CP+SOC did not result in a higher proportion of clinical improvement on day 28 in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 compared to SOC alone.