Safety and Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma Therapy for the Management of COVID-19: A Systematic Review

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Sitaram Khadka*, Muhammad Saleem, Dhan Bahadur Shrestha, Pravash Budhathoki

Journal Name: Coronaviruses
The World's First International Journal Dedicated to Coronaviruses

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Introduction: Till date, no proven therapy exists for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), though different types of treatment modalities are being practiced around the world. Different studies regarding convalescent plasma (CP) therapy from COVID-19 recovered donors have shown favorable results with fewer adverse consequences. In this systematic review, we have aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of CP as a therapy for COVID-19.

Methods and Materials: The English language databases of PubMed, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect were searched up to 22 May 2020. Eligibility for inclusion, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction from the included studies were determined and a narrative synthesis was conducted.

Results: A total of 12 studies were selected for review. The overall risks of bias were moderate to high. The results revealed significance in the initiation of CP therapy during the early stages of viremia in a safety and efficacy viewpoint. The patients were also receiving concomitant drugs and other supportive therapies in most cases. Some cases of mortality were reported in 3 studies. Viral loads were documented to decrease and become negative in 8 studies within 3-26 days post-transfusion. The improvement in clinical symptoms following CP therapy was demonstrated in 9 studies. Most of the patients experienced very few adverse effects.

Conclusions: The rational practice of CP therapy based on a risk-benefit judgment can prove to be an efficacious therapeutic option as a last resort until the approval of any therapeutic and/or prophylactic agent(s). The substantial randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are necessary to validate the effectiveness of such therapy.

Keywords: Convalescent plasma therapy, COVID-19, Efficacy, Risk-benefit judgment, Safety, Treatment modalities.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/2666796701999201204114525