Abstract: Background: Older patients, frequently with multiple comorbidities, have a high mortality from COVID-19 infection. Convalescent plasma (CP) is a therapeutic option for these patients. Our objective is to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and adverse events of CP treatment in this population group.
Methods: Forty one patients over 80 years old with COVID-19 pneumonia received CP added to standard treatment, 51.2% with high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG titers and 48.8% with low titers. Median time between the onset of symptoms and the infusion of plasma was 7 days (IQR 4-10). A similar group of 82 patients who received only standard treatment, during a period in which CP was not available, were selected as a control group.
Results: In-hospital mortality was 26.8% for controls and 14.6% for CP patients (P = 0.131) and ICU admission was 8.5% for controls and 4.9% for CP patients (P = 0.467). Mortality tended to be lower in the high-titer group (9.5%) than in the low-titer group (20%), and in patients transfused within the first 7 days of symptom onset (10%) than in patients transfused later (19.1%), although the differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.307 and P = 0.355 respectively). There was no difference in the length of hospitalization. No significant adverse events were associated with CP treatment.
Conclusions: Convalescent plasma treatment in patients over 80 years old with COVID-19 pneumonia was well tolerated but did not present a statistically significant difference in hospital mortality, ICU admission, or length of hospitalization. The results should be interpreted with caution as only half the patients received high-titer CP and the small number of patients included in the study limits the statistical power to detect significant differences.
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