Title

Successful Treatment of Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia With Clazakizumab in a Heart Transplant Recipient: A Case Report.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2020

Publication Title

Transplantation proceedings

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is characterized by an overwhelming cytokine response. Various treatment strategies have been attempted.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A 61-year-old man with heart transplantation in 2017 presented with fever, cough, and dyspnea, and was confirmed positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Laboratory tests showed significant elevations in C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Echocardiogram showed left ventricular ejection fraction 58% (with ejection fraction 57% 6 months prior). Given the lack of clear management guidelines, the patient was initially managed symptomatically. However, the patient subsequently had a rapid respiratory deterioration with worsening inflammatory markers on day 5 of admission. Tocilizumab (anti-IL-6R) was in low supply in the hospital. The patient was offered clazakizumab (anti-IL-6) for compassionate use. Patient received 25 mg intravenously × 1 dose. Within 24 hours, he showed significant improvement in symptoms, oxygen requirements, radiological findings, and inflammatory markers. There was a transient leukopenia that improved in 4 days. He was discharged home on day 11, with negative nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR as an outpatient on day 35, development of positive serum COVID-19 IgG antibody, and he continued to do well on day 60, with no heart-related symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Clazakizumab is a monoclonal antibody against human IL-6, which may be helpful in inhibiting the cytokine response to SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19. Although not yet FDA approved, it is being investigated for treatment of renal antibody-mediated rejection. Clinical trials of clazakizumab for treatment of COVID-19 are underway worldwide.

Volume

52

Issue

9

First Page

2711

Last Page

2714

DOI

10.1016/j.transproceed.2020.06.003

ISSN

1873-2623

PubMed ID

32563584

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