Tocilizumab is useful for coronavirus disease 2019 patients: the key point is timing.

Creative Commons License

Gülhan M., Önal U., Demirci N., Cetin G., Calisir A., Köksalan D., ...More

Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira (1992), vol.68, no.3, pp.318-322, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1590/1806-9282.20210602
  • Journal Name: Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira (1992)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.318-322
  • Keywords: Tocilizumab, Early treatment, Mortality, Peripheral oxygen saturation monitoring


OBJECTIVE: In coronavirus disease 2019, a rapidly progressive inflammatory process is considered to be the main cause of organ damage and mortality. Therefore, the importance of anti-inflammatory treatments such as tocilizumab is increasing. METHODS: A total of 107 patients who received tocilizumab between March 2020 and March 2021 were included in the study. The primary termination point was mortality. We compared surviving and deceased patients by the stage of the disease and where the drug was given (service or intensive care unit). RESULTS: The mean age was 60.8 +/- 14.6 years (minimum 29 years, maximum 96 years). According to the WHO staging system, 16 (15%) patients had moderate, 47 (43.9%) patients had severe, 44 (41.1%) patients had a critical illness. Although all patients were admitted to the service, 26 (24.3%) patients received tocilizumab in the intensive care unit. Of 107 patients, 80 (74.7%) survived and 27 (25.2%) died. Mortality was found to be significantly higher in critical patients (96.3%), severe patients (3.7%), and moderate patients (0%) (p<0.001). Peripheral oxygen saturation measured at admission was found to be significantly lower in patients who died. The initial saturations (p=0.008) were found to have independent effects on mortality. CONCLUSION: The results showed that tocilizumab is an effective treatment option for coronavirus disease 2019 disease and reduces mortality, but the key point is timing.