Cytokine elevation in severe and critical COVID-19: a rapid systematic review, meta-analysis, and comparison with other inflammatory syndromes.
ABSTRACT: The description of a so-called cytokine storm in patients with COVID-19 has prompted consideration of anti-cytokine therapies, particularly interleukin-6 antagonists. However, direct systematic comparisons of COVID-19 with other critical illnesses associated with elevated cytokine concentrations have not been reported. In this Rapid Review, we report the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis of COVID-19 studies published or posted as preprints between Nov 1, 2019, and April 14, 2020, in which interleukin-6 concentrations in patients with severe or critical disease were recorded. 25 COVID-19 studies (n=1245 patients) were ultimately included. Comparator groups included four trials each in sepsis (n=5320), cytokine release syndrome (n=72), and acute respiratory distress syndrome unrelated to COVID-19 (n=2767). In patients with severe or critical COVID-19, the pooled mean serum interleukin-6 concentration was 36·7 pg/mL (95% CI 21·6-62·3 pg/mL; I2=57·7%). Mean interleukin-6 concentrations were nearly 100 times higher in patients with cytokine release syndrome (3110·5 pg/mL, 632·3-15?302·9 pg/mL; p<0·0001), 27 times higher in patients with sepsis (983·6 pg/mL, 550·1-1758·4 pg/mL; p<0·0001), and 12 times higher in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome unrelated to COVID-19 (460 pg/mL, 216·3-978·7 pg/mL; p<0·0001). Our findings question the role of a cytokine storm in COVID-19-induced organ dysfunction. Many questions remain about the immune features of COVID-19 and the potential role of anti-cytokine and immune-modulating treatments in patients with the disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:An association between IL-6 levels and cytokine storm syndrome in COVID-19 patients has been suggested. Cases with higher IL-6 levels have more rapid progression and a higher complication rate. On the other hand, COVID-19 cases with anosmia have a milder course of the disease. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to investigate whether there is a relationship between serum IL-6 levels and presence of anosmia in COVID-19 patients. METHODS:Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 based on laboratory (PCR) were stratified into two groups based on presence of olfactory dysfunction (OD). In all cases with and without anosmia; psychophysical test (Sniffin' Sticks test) and a survey on olfactory symptoms were obtained. Threshold (t) - discrimination (d) - identification (i), and total (TDI) scores reflecting olfactory function were calculated. Clinical symptoms, serum IL-6 levels, other laboratory parameters, and chest computed tomography (CT) findings were recorded. RESULTS:A total of 59 patients were included, comprising 23 patients with anosmia and 36 patients without OD based on TDI scores. Patients with anosmia (41.39 ± 15.04) were significantly younger compared to cases without anosmia (52.19 ± 18.50). There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of comorbidities, smoking history, and symptoms including nasal congestion and rhinorrhea. Although serum IL-6 levels of all patients were above normal values (7 pg/mL), patients with anosmia had significantly lower serum IL-6 levels (16.72 ± 14.28 pg/mL) compared to patients without OD (60.95 ± 89.33 pg/mL) (p = 0.026). CONCLUSION:Patients with COVID-19 related anosmia tend to have significantly lower serum levels of IL-6 compared to patients without OD, and the lower IL-6 levels is related to milder course of the disease. With the effect of low cytokine storm and IL-6 level, it may be said that anosmic cases have a milder disease in COVID-19.
Project description:Aim/objective/introduction:Cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is inevitable in severe and critically ill patients with novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This review aimed to discuss current therapeutic options for the management of CRS in COVID-19. Background:Cytokine storm is caused by the colossal release of proinflammatory cytokines [e.g., IL (interleukin)-2, IL-6, IL-8 TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-?, etc.] causing dysregulated, hyperimmune response. This immunopathogenesis leads to acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Targeting cytokine storm with the therapies that are already available in India with the support of published guidelines and consensus can assist in achieving a better outcome in COVID-19. Review results:We predominantly included published guidelines or consensus recommendations about the management of cytokine storm in COVID-19. From the existing literature evidence, it is observed that among the currently available agents, low-dose corticosteroids and heparin can be beneficial in managing cytokine storm. The use of serine protease inhibitors such as ulinastatin has been advised by some experts. Though therapies such as high-dose vitamin C and interleukin-6 inhibitors (e.g., tocilizumab) have been advised, the evidence regarding their use for cytokine storm in COVID-19 is limited. Therapies such as Janus kinase inhibitors (JAK) inhibitors and Neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1) antagonists are still in research. Besides, pharmaceutical treatments, use of blood purification strategies, and convalescent plasma may be life-saving options in some of the critically ill COVID-19 patients. For these therapies, there is a need to generate further evidence to substantiate their use in CRS management. Conclusion:Current management of COVID-19 is preventive and supportive. Different therapies can be used to prevent and treat the cytokine storm. More research is needed for further supporting the use of these treatments in COVID-19. How to cite this article:Mehta Y, Dixit SB, Zirpe KG, Ansari AS. Cytokine Storm in Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Expert Management Considerations. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020;24(6):429-434.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a globally communicable public health disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Eradication of COVID-19 appears practically impossible but, therefore, more effective pharmacotherapy is needed. The deteriorated clinical presentation of patients with COVID-19 is mainly associated with hypercytokinemia due to notoriously elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1B, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon-?-inducible protein (IP10), monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP1), and tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF?), and is usually responsible for cytokine release syndrome. In the cytokine storm, up-regulation of T-helper 17 cell cytokine IL-17A, and maybe also IL-17F, is mostly responsible for the immunopathology of COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Herein, I meticulously review the exuberant polarization mechanism of naïve CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells toward Th17 cells in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and its associated immunopathological sequelae. I also, propose, for clinical benefit, targeting IL-17A signaling and the synergic inflammatory cytokine IL-6 to manage COVID-19 patients, particularly those presenting with cytokine storm syndrome.
Project description:While cytokine storm develops in a minority of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, novel treatment approaches are desperately needed for those in whom it does. Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor antibody, has been utilized for the treatment of cytokine storm in a number of severe inflammatory conditions, including in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we present the first published case utilizing this therapy in a patient with underlying immunodeficiency. Our patient with aplastic anemia developed cytokine storm due to COVID-19 manifested by fever, severe hypoxia, pulmonary infiltrates, and elevated inflammatory markers. Following treatment with tocilizumab, cytokine storm resolved, and the patient was ultimately safely discharged from the hospital.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) is the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of 25 May 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused 347,192 deaths around the world. The current evidence showed that severely ill patients tend to have a high concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6, compared to those who are moderately ill. The high level of cytokines also indicates a poor prognosis in COVID-19. Besides, excessive infiltration of pro-inflammatory cells, mainly involving macrophages and T-helper 17 cells, has been found in lung tissues of patients with COVID-19 by postmortem examination. Recently, increasing studies indicate that the "cytokine storm" may contribute to the mortality of COVID-19. Here, we summarize the clinical and pathologic features of the cytokine storm in COVID-19. Our review shows that SARS-Cov-2 selectively induces a high level of IL-6 and results in the exhaustion of lymphocytes. The current evidence indicates that tocilizumab, an IL-6 inhibitor, is relatively effective and safe. Besides, corticosteroids, programmed cell death protein (PD)-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibition, cytokine-adsorption devices, intravenous immunoglobulin, and antimalarial agents could be potentially useful and reliable approaches to counteract cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients.
Project description:The newly emerging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, but has rapidly spread all over the world. Some COVID-19 patients encounter a severe symptom of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality. This high severity is dependent on a cytokine storm, most likely induced by the interleukin-6 (IL-6) amplifier, which is hyper-activation machinery that regulates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) pathway and stimulated by the simultaneous activation of IL-6-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and NF-?B signaling in non-immune cells including alveolar epithelial cells and endothelial cells. We hypothesize that IL-6-STAT3 signaling is a promising therapeutic target for the cytokine storm in COVID-19, because IL-6 is a major STAT3 stimulator, particularly during inflammation. We herein review the pathogenic mechanism and potential therapeutic targets of ARDS in COVID-19 patients.
Project description:Recent advances in the pathophysiologic understanding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has indicated that patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) might experience cytokine release syndrome (CRS), characterized by increased interleukin (IL)-6, IL-2, IL-7, IL-10, etc. Therefore, the treatment of cytokine storm has been proposed as a critical part of rescuing severe COVID-19. Several of the cytokines involved in COVID-19 employ a distinct intracellular signaling pathway mediated by Janus kinases (JAKs). JAK inhibition, therefore, presents an attractive therapeutic strategy for CRS, which is a common cause of adverse clinical outcomes in COVID-19. Below, we review the possibilities and challenges of targeting the pathway in COVID-19.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has swept the world, unlike any other pandemic in the last 50 years. Our understanding of the disease has evolved rapidly since the outbreak; disease prognosis is influenced mainly by multi-organ involvement. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, heart failure, renal failure, liver damage, shock and multi-organ failure are strongly associated with morbidity and mortality. The COVID-19 disease pathology is plausibly linked to the hyperinflammatory response of the body characterized by pathological cytokine levels. The term 'cytokine storm syndrome' is perhaps one of the critical hallmarks of COVID-19 disease severity. In this review, we highlight prominent cytokine families and their potential role in COVID-19, the type I and II interferons, tumour necrosis factor and members of the Interleukin family. We address various changes in cellular components of the immune response corroborating with changes in cytokine levels while discussing cytokine sources and biological functions. Finally, we discuss in brief potential therapies attempting to modulate the cytokine storm.
Project description:The emergent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global pandemic. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan dysfunction are among the leading causes of death in critically ill patients with COVID-19. The elevated inflammatory cytokines suggest that a cytokine storm, also known as cytokine release syndrome (CRS), may play a major role in the pathology of COVID-19. However, the efficacy of corticosteroids, commonly utilized antiinflammatory agents, to treat COVID-19-induced CRS is controversial. There is an urgent need for novel therapies to treat COVID-19-induced CRS. Here, we discuss the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-induced CRS, compare the CRS in COVID-19 with that in SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and summarize the existing therapies for CRS. We propose to utilize interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockade to manage COVID-19-induced CRS and discuss several factors that should be taken into consideration for its clinical application.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic and international health emergency by the World Health Organization. Patients with obesity with COVID-19 are 7 times more likely to need invasive mechanical ventilation than are patients without obesity (OR 7.36; 95% CI: 1.63-33.14, p = 0.021). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is one of the main causes of death related to COVID-19 and is triggered by a cytokine storm that damages the respiratory epithelium. Interleukins that cause the chronic low-grade inflammatory state of obesity, such as interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant peptide (MCP)-1, and, in particular, IL-17A and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), also play very important roles in lung damage in ARDS. Therefore, obesity is associated with an immune state favourable to a cytokine storm. Our hypothesis is that serum concentrations of TNF-? and IL-17A are more elevated in patients with obesity and COVID-19, and consequently, they have a greater probability of developing ARDS and death. The immunobiology of IL-17A and TNF-? opens a new fascinating field of research for COVID-19.