Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35176057
Link to DOI – e026256410.1371/journal.pone.0262564
PLoS One 2022 ; 17(2): e0262564
Dexamethasone is standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen. The objective is to assess the clinical benefit of adding remdesivir to dexamethasone.A retrospective cohort study of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia requesting low-flow oxygen who received dexamethasone. Patients admitted to infectious diseases wards also received remdesivir. Primary outcome was duration of hospitalization after oxygen initiation. Secondary outcomes were in-hospital death, and death and/or transfer to the intensive care unit. To handle potential confounding by indication bias, outcome comparison was performed on propensity score-matched populations. Propensity score was estimated by a multivariable logistic model including prognostic covariates; then 1:1 matching was performed without replacement, using the nearest neighbor algorithm with a caliper of 0.10 fold the standard deviation of the propensity score as the maximal distance. Balance after matching was checked on standardized mean differences.From August 15th 2020, to February 28th, 2021, 325 patients were included, 101 of whom received remdesivir. At admission median time from symptoms onset was 7 days, median age: 68 years, male sex; 61%, >1 comorbidity: 58.5%. Overall 180 patients matched on propensity score were analyzed, 90 each received remdesivir plus dexamethasone or dexamethasone alone. Median duration of hospitalization was 9 (IQR: 7-13) and 9 (IQR: 5-18) days with and without remdesivir, respectively (p = 0.37). In-hospital death rates and rates of transfer to the intensive care unit or death were 8.9 and 17.8% (HR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.21-1.02, p = 0.06) and 20.0 and 35.6% with and without remdesivir, respectively (HR: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.23-0.89, p = 0.015).In hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia receiving low-flow oxygen and dexamethasone, the addition of remdesivir was not associated with shorter hospitalization or lower in-hospital mortality but may have reduced the combined outcome of death and transfer to the intensive care unit.