200 results found
Ahmad R, Gordon AC, Aylin P, et al., 2022, Effective knowledge mobilisation: creating environments for quick generation, dissemination, and use of evidence., BMJ, Vol: 379
Cano-Gamez E, Burnham KL, Goh C, et al., 2022, An immune dysfunction score for stratification of patients with acute infection based on whole-blood gene expression., Sci Transl Med, Vol: 14
Dysregulated host responses to infection can lead to organ dysfunction and sepsis, causing millions of global deaths each year. To alleviate this burden, improved prognostication and biomarkers of response are urgently needed. We investigated the use of whole-blood transcriptomics for stratification of patients with severe infection by integrating data from 3149 samples from patients with sepsis due to community-acquired pneumonia or fecal peritonitis admitted to intensive care and healthy individuals into a gene expression reference map. We used this map to derive a quantitative sepsis response signature (SRSq) score reflective of immune dysfunction and predictive of clinical outcomes, which can be estimated using a 7- or 12-gene signature. Last, we built a machine learning framework, SepstratifieR, to deploy SRSq in adult and pediatric bacterial and viral sepsis, H1N1 influenza, and COVID-19, demonstrating clinically relevant stratification across diseases and revealing some of the physiological alterations linking immune dysregulation to mortality. Our method enables early identification of individuals with dysfunctional immune profiles, bringing us closer to precision medicine in infection.
Myburgh JA, Seppelt IM, Goodman F, et al., 2022, Effect of selective decontamination of the digestive tract on hospital mortality in critically Ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation a randomized clinical trial, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol: 328, Pages: 1911-1921, ISSN: 0098-7484
Importance Whether selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD) reduces mortality in critically ill patients remains uncertain.Objective To determine whether SDD reduces in-hospital mortality in critically ill adults.Design, Setting, and Participants A cluster, crossover, randomized clinical trial that recruited 5982 mechanically ventilated adults from 19 intensive care units (ICUs) in Australia between April 2018 and May 2021 (final follow-up, August 2021). A contemporaneous ecological assessment recruited 8599 patients from participating ICUs between May 2017 and August 2021.Interventions ICUs were randomly assigned to adopt or not adopt a SDD strategy for 2 alternating 12-month periods, separated by a 3-month interperiod gap. Patients in the SDD group (n = 2791) received a 6-hourly application of an oral paste and administration of a gastric suspension containing colistin, tobramycin, and nystatin for the duration of mechanical ventilation, plus a 4-day course of an intravenous antibiotic with a suitable antimicrobial spectrum. Patients in the control group (n = 3191) received standard care.Main Outcomes and Measures The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality within 90 days. There were 8 secondary outcomes, including the proportion of patients with new positive blood cultures, antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs), and Clostridioides difficile infections. For the ecological assessment, a noninferiority margin of 2% was prespecified for 3 outcomes including new cultures of AROs.Results Of 5982 patients (mean age, 58.3 years; 36.8% women) enrolled from 19 ICUs, all patients completed the trial. There were 753/2791 (27.0%) and 928/3191 (29.1%) in-hospital deaths in the SDD and standard care groups, respectively (mean difference, −1.7% [95% CI, −4.8% to 1.3%]; odds ratio, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.82-1.02]; P = .12). Of 8 prespecified secondary outcomes, 6 showed no significant differences. In the SDD vs
Cleasby C, Marshall T, Gordon AC, et al., 2022, The effect of vasopressin and hydrocortisone on cytokine trajectories: exploratory analysis from the VANISH trial, Intensive Care Medicine, ISSN: 0342-4642
Fish M, Rynne J, Jennings A, et al., 2022, Coronavirus disease 2019 subphenotypes and differential treatment response to convalescent plasma in critically ill adults: secondary analyses of a randomized clinical trial, Intensive Care Medicine, Vol: 48, Pages: 1525-1538, ISSN: 0342-4642
PurposeBenefit from convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been inconsistent in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) involving critically ill patients. As COVID-19 patients are immunologically heterogeneous, we hypothesized that immunologically similar COVID-19 subphenotypes may differ in their treatment responses to convalescent plasma and explain inconsistent findings between RCTs .MethodsWe tested this hypothesis in a substudy involving 1239 patients, by measuring 26 biomarkers (cytokines, chemokines, endothelial biomarkers) within the randomized, embedded, multifactorial, adaptive platform trial for community-acquired pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) that assigned 2097 critically ill COVID-19 patients to either high-titer convalescent plasma or usual care. Primary outcome was organ support free days at 21 days (OSFD-21) .ResultsUnsupervised analyses identified three subphenotypes/endotypes. In contrast to the more homogeneous subphenotype-2 (N = 128 patients, 10.3%; with elevated type i and type ii effector immune responses) and subphenotype-3 (N = 241, 19.5%; with exaggerated inflammation), the subphenotype-1 had variable biomarker patterns (N = 870 patients, 70.2%). Subphenotypes-2, and -3 had worse outcomes, and subphenotype-1 had better outcomes with convalescent plasma therapy compared with usual care (median (IQR). OSFD-21 in convalescent plasma vs usual care was 0 (− 1, 21) vs 10 (− 1, to 21) in subphenotype-2; 1.5 (− 1, 21) vs 12 (− 1, to 21) in suphenotype-3, and 0 (− 1, 21) vs 0 (− 1, to 21) in subphenotype-1 (test for between-subphenotype differences in treatment effects p = 0.008).ConclusionsWe reported three COVID-19 subphenotypes, among critically ill adults, with differential treatment effects to ABO-compatible convalescent plasma therapy. Differences in subphenotype prevalence between RCT populations probably explain inconsistent results
Festor P, Jia Y, Gordon A, et al., 2022, Assuring the safety of AI-based clinical decision support systems: a case study of the AI Clinician for sepsis treatment, BMJ Health & Care Informatics, Vol: 29, ISSN: 2632-1009
Study objectives: Establishing confidence in the safety of AI-based clinical decision support systems is important prior to clinical deployment and regulatory approval for systems with increasing autonomy. Here, we undertook safety assurance of the AI Clinician, a previously published reinforcement learning-based treatment recommendation system for sepsis. Methods: As part of the safety assurance, we defined four clinical hazards in sepsis resuscitation based on clinical expert opinion and the existing literature. We then identified a set of unsafe scenarios and created safety constraints, intended to limit the action space of the AI agent with the goal of reducing the likelihood of hazardous decisions.Results: Using a subset of the MIMIC-III database, we demonstrated that our previously published “AI Clinician” recommended fewer hazardous decisions than human clinicians in three out of our four pre-defined clinical scenarios, while the difference was not statistically significant in the fourth scenario. Then, we modified the reward function to satisfy our safety constraints and trained a new AI Clinician agent. The retrained model shows enhanced safety, without negatively impacting model performance.Discussion: While some contextual patient information absent from the data may have pushed human clinicians to take hazardous actions, the data was curated to limit the impact of this confounder.Conclusion: These advances provide a use case for the systematic safety assurance of AI-based clinical systems, towards the generation of explicit safety evidence, which could be replicated for other AI applications or other clinical contexts, and inform medical device regulatory bodies.
Antcliffe DB, Mi Y, Santhakumaran S, et al., 2022, Inflammatory sub-phenotypes in sepsis: relationship to outcomes, treatment effect and transcriptomic sub-phenotypes
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Rationale</jats:title><jats:p>Heterogeneity of sepsis limits discovery and targeting of treatments. Clustering approaches in critical illness have identified patient groups who may respond differently to therapies. These include in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) two inflammatory sub-phenotypes, using latent class analysis (LCA), and in sepsis two Sepsis Response Signatures (SRS), based on transcriptome profiling. It is unknown if inflammatory sub-phenotypes such as those identified in ARDS are present in sepsis and how sub-phenotypes defined with different techniques compare.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Objectives</jats:title><jats:p>To identify inflammatory sub-phenotypes in sepsis using LCA and assess if these show differential treatment responses. These sub-phenotypes were compared to hierarchical clusters based on inflammatory mediators and to SRS sub-phenotypes.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>LCA was applied to clinical and biomarker data from two septic shock randomized trials. VANISH compared norepinephrine to vasopressin and hydrocortisone to placebo and LeoPARDS compared levosimendan to placebo. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was applied to 65, 21 and 11 inflammatory mediators measured in patients from the GAinS (n=124), VANISH (n=155) and LeoPARDS (n=484) studies.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Measurements and Main Results</jats:title><jats:p>LCA and HCA identified a sub-phenotype of patients with high cytokine levels and worse organ dysfunction and survival, with no interaction between LCA classes and trial treatment responses. Comparison of inflammatory and transcriptomic sub-phenotypes revealed some similarities but without sufficient overlap that they are interchangeable.</jat
Godolphin PJ, Fisher DJ, Berry LR, et al., 2022, Association between tocilizumab, sarilumab and all-cause mortality at 28 days in hospitalised patients with COVID-19: A network meta-analysis, PLoS One, Vol: 17, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1932-6203
BackgroundA recent prospective meta-analysis demonstrated that interleukin-6 antagonists are associated with lower all-cause mortality in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, compared with usual care or placebo. However, emerging evidence suggests that clinicians are favouring the use of tocilizumab over sarilumab. A new randomised comparison of these agents from the REMAP-CAP trial shows similar effects on in-hospital mortality. Therefore, we initiated a network meta-analysis, to estimate pairwise associations between tocilizumab, sarilumab and usual care or placebo with 28-day mortality, in COVID-19 patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids and ventilation, based on all available direct and indirect evidence.MethodsEligible trials randomised hospitalised patients with COVID-19 that compared tocilizumab or sarilumab with usual care or placebo in the prospective meta-analysis or that directly compared tocilizumab with sarilumab. Data were restricted to patients receiving corticosteroids and either non-invasive or invasive ventilation at randomisation.Pairwise associations between tocilizumab, sarilumab and usual care or placebo for all-cause mortality 28 days after randomisation were estimated using a frequentist contrast-based network meta-analysis of odds ratios (ORs), implementing multivariate fixed-effects models that assume consistency between the direct and indirect evidence.FindingsOne trial (REMAP-CAP) was identified that directly compared tocilizumab with sarilumab and supplied results on all-cause mortality at 28-days. This network meta-analysis was based on 898 eligible patients (278 deaths) from REMAP-CAP and 3710 eligible patients from 18 trials (1278 deaths) from the prospective meta-analysis. Summary ORs were similar for tocilizumab [0·82 [0·71–0·95, p = 0·008]] and sarilumab [0·80 [0·61–1·04, p = 0·09]] compared with usual care or placebo. The summary OR for 28-day mortality com
Whittaker C, Watson O, Alvarez-Moreno C, et al., 2022, Understanding the Potential Impact of Different Drug Properties On SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Disease Burden: A Modelling Analysis, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol: 75, Pages: e224-e233, ISSN: 1058-4838
BackgroundThe public health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has motivated a rapid search for potential therapeutics, with some key successes. However, the potential impact of different treatments, and consequently research and procurement priorities, have not been clear.MethodsUsing a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, COVID-19 disease and clinical care, we explore the public-health impact of different potential therapeutics, under a range of scenarios varying healthcare capacity, epidemic trajectories; and drug efficacy in the absence of supportive care.ResultsThe impact of drugs like dexamethasone (delivered to the most critically-ill in hospital and whose therapeutic benefit is expected to depend on the availability of supportive care such as oxygen and mechanical ventilation) is likely to be limited in settings where healthcare capacity is lowest or where uncontrolled epidemics result in hospitals being overwhelmed. As such, it may avert 22% of deaths in high-income countries but only 8% in low-income countries (assuming R=1.35). Therapeutics for different patient populations (those not in hospital, early in the course of infection) and types of benefit (reducing disease severity or infectiousness, preventing hospitalisation) could have much greater benefits, particularly in resource-poor settings facing large epidemics.ConclusionsAdvances in the treatment of COVID-19 to date have been focussed on hospitalised-patients and predicated on an assumption of adequate access to supportive care. Therapeutics delivered earlier in the course of infection that reduce the need for healthcare or reduce infectiousness could have significant impact, and research into their efficacy and means of delivery should be a priority.
Research and practice in critical care medicine have long been defined by syndromes, which, despite being clinically recognizable entities, are, in fact, loose amalgams of heterogeneous states that may respond differently to therapy. Mounting translational evidence—supported by research on respiratory failure due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection—suggests that the current syndrome-based framework of critical illness should be reconsidered. Here we discuss recent findings from basic science and clinical research in critical care and explore how these might inform a new conceptual model of critical illness. De-emphasizing syndromes, we focus on the underlying biological changes that underpin critical illness states and that may be amenable to treatment. We hypothesize that such an approach will accelerate critical care research, leading to a richer understanding of the pathobiology of critical illness and of the key determinants of patient outcomes. This, in turn, will support the design of more effective clinical trials and inform a more precise and more effective practice at the bedside.
Phillips R, Cro S, Wheeler G, et al., 2022, Visualising harms in publications of randomised controlled trials: consensus and recommendations, BMJ: British Medical Journal, Vol: 377, ISSN: 0959-535X
Objective: To improve communication of harm in publications of randomised controlled trials via the development of recommendations for visually presenting harm outcomes.Design: Consensus study.Setting: 15 clinical trials units registered with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, an academic population health department, Roche Products, and TheBMJ.Participants: Experts in clinical trials: 20 academic statisticians, one industry statistician, one academic health economist, one data graphics designer, and two clinicians.Main outcome measures: A methodological review of statistical methods identified visualisations along with those recommended by consensus group members. Consensus on visual recommendations was achieved (at least 60% of the available votes) over a series of three meetings with participants. The participants reviewed and critically appraised candidate visualisations against an agreed framework and voted on whether to endorse each visualisation. Scores marginally below this threshold (50-60%) were revisited for further discussions and votes retaken until consensus was reached.Results: 28 visualisations were considered, of which 10 are recommended for researchers to consider in publications of main research findings. The choice of visualisations to present will depend on outcome type (eg, binary, count, time-to-event, or continuous), and the scenario (eg, summarising multiple emerging events or one event of interest). A decision tree is presented to assist trialists in deciding which visualisations to use. Examples are provided of each endorsed visualisation, along with an example interpretation, potential limitations, and signposting to code for implementation across a range of standard statistical software. Clinician feedback was incorporated into the explanatory information provided in the recommendations to aid understanding and interpretation.Conclusions: Visualisations provide a powerful tool to communicate harms in clinical trials, offering an alt
Godolphin P, Fisher D, Berry L, et al., 2022, Association between tocilizumab, sarilumab and all-cause mortality at 28 days in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: A network meta-analysis, Publisher: MedArxiv
<h4>Objective: </h4> To estimate pairwise associations between administration of tocilizumab, sarilumab and usual care or placebo with 28-day mortality, in COVID-19 patients receiving concomitant corticosteroids and non-invasive or mechanical ventilation, based on all available direct and indirect evidence. <h4>Methods:</h4> Eligible trials randomized hospitalized patients with COVID-19 that compared either interleukin-6 receptor antagonist with usual care or placebo in a recent prospective meta-analysis (27 trials, 10930 patients) or that directly compared tocilizumab with sarilumab. Data were restricted to patients receiving corticosteroids and either non-invasive or invasive ventilation at randomization. Pairwise associations between tocilizumab, sarilumab and usual care or placebo for all-cause mortality 28 days after randomization were estimated using a frequentist contrast-based network meta-analysis of odds ratios (ORs), implementing multivariate fixed-effects models that assume consistency between the direct and indirect evidence. <h4>Results:</h4> One trial (REMAP-CAP) was identified that directly compared tocilizumab with sarilumab and supplied results on all-cause mortality at 28-days. This network meta-analysis was based on 898 eligible patients (278 deaths) from REMAP-CAP and 3710 eligible patients from 18 trials (1278 deaths) from the prospective meta-analysis. Summary ORs were similar for tocilizumab [0.82 [0.71-0.95, P=0.008]] and sarilumab [0.80 [0.61-1.04, P=0.09]] compared with usual care or placebo. The summary OR for 28-day mortality comparing tocilizumab with sarilumab was 1.03 [95%CI 0.81-1.32, P=0.80]. The P value for the global test for inconsistency was 0.28. <h4>Conclusion:</h4> Administration of either tocilizumab or sarilumab was associated with lower 28-day all-cause mortality compared with usual care or placebo. The association is not dependent on the choice of interleukin-6 receptor anta
Sachouli E, Tsiridou DM, Takata M, et al., 2022, Stimulation of Neutrophils in Whole Blood Enhances the Pro-inflammatory Activity of Neutrophil-Derived Microvesicles., FASEB J, Vol: 36 Suppl 1
BACKGROUND: Acute increases in circulating levels of neutrophil-derived microvesicles (N-MVs) during sepsis combined with evidence of enhanced uptake of MVs within the pulmonary microvasculature during endotoxemia in mice, suggests a role for N-MVs in development of indirect acute lung injury (ALI). However, evidence for the pro-inflammatory activity of N-MVs is unclear, with various in vitro studies demonstrating anti-inflammatory effects. Most in vitro investigations of N-MV activity involve stimulation of purified neutrophils with single agonists such as formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP). This reductionist approach excludes the complex in vivo interplay between different stimuli and other vascular cells contributing to neutrophil responses during sepsis. Here we investigated the proinflammatory activities of N-MVs under more clinically relevant in vitro conditions, treating healthy volunteer whole blood with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a sepsis-relevant inflammatory stimulus and fMLP as an acute N-MV inducing stimulus. The activities of N-MVs derived from whole blood as well as isolated neutrophils were evaluated in a monocyte-neutrophil-endothelial cell 'tri-culture' model of pulmonary vascular inflammation. METHODS: N-MVs were generated from whole blood or neutrophils isolated by two-step density gradient centrifugation, by stimulation with fMLP (1 µM, 30 min) alone or combined with LPS pre-treatment (100 ng/ml, 1 h). N-MVs were isolated from blood by anti-CD66b immunomagnetic-bead selection. For the tri-culture assay, isolated neutrophils and immunomagnetic-bead sorted monocytes were cultured with human lung microvascular endothelial cells. N-MVs were incubated in the tri-cultures for 3 h, and MV-induced responses were determined by ELISA and flow cytometric quantification of cell activation markers on monocytes and neutrophils. RESULTS: N-MVs derived from LPS-fMLP-stimulated (but not fMLP-stimulated) whole blood induced significant responses
Ratcliff J, Al-Beidh F, Bibi S, et al., 2022, Highly sensitive lineage discrimination of SARS-CoV-2 variants through allele-specific probe PCR., Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Vol: 60, Pages: e0228321-e0228321, ISSN: 0095-1137
Tools to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and track the ongoing evolution of the virus are necessary to support public health efforts and the design and evaluation of novel COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been adopted as the gold standard method for discriminating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, alternative methods may be required when processing samples with low viral loads or low RNA quality. To this aim, an allele-specific probe PCR (ASP-PCR) targeting lineage-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was developed and used to screen 1,082 samples from two clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil. Probit regression models were developed to compare ASP-PCR performance against 1,771 NGS results for the same cohorts. Individual SNPs were shown to readily identify specific variants of concern. ASP-PCR was shown to discriminate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with a higher likelihood than NGS over a wide range of viral loads. The comparative advantage for ASP-PCR over NGS was most pronounced in samples with cycle threshold (CT) values between 26 and 30 and in samples that showed evidence of degradation. Results for samples screened by ASP-PCR and NGS showed 99% concordant results. ASP-PCR is well suited to augment but not replace NGS. The method can differentiate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with high accuracy and would be best deployed to screen samples with lower viral loads or that may suffer from degradation. Future work should investigate further destabilization from primer-target base mismatch through altered oligonucleotide chemistry or chemical additives.
REMAP-CAP Writing Committee for the REMAP-CAP Investigators, Bradbury CA, Lawler PR, et al., 2022, Effect of antiplatelet therapy on survival and organ support-free days in critically ill patients with COVID-19: a randomized clinical trial., JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, ISSN: 0098-7484
Importance: The efficacy of antiplatelet therapy in critically ill patients with COVID-19 is uncertain. Objective: To determine whether antiplatelet therapy improves outcomes for critically ill adults with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: In an ongoing adaptive platform trial (REMAP-CAP) testing multiple interventions within multiple therapeutic domains, 1557 critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 were enrolled between October 30, 2020, and June 23, 2021, from 105 sites in 8 countries and followed up for 90 days (final follow-up date: July 26, 2021). Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive either open-label aspirin (n = 565), a P2Y12 inhibitor (n = 455), or no antiplatelet therapy (control; n = 529). Interventions were continued in the hospital for a maximum of 14 days and were in addition to anticoagulation thromboprophylaxis. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was organ support-free days (days alive and free of intensive care unit-based respiratory or cardiovascular organ support) within 21 days, ranging from -1 for any death in hospital (censored at 90 days) to 22 for survivors with no organ support. There were 13 secondary outcomes, including survival to discharge and major bleeding to 14 days. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model. An odds ratio (OR) greater than 1 represented improved survival, more organ support-free days, or both. Efficacy was defined as greater than 99% posterior probability of an OR greater than 1. Futility was defined as greater than 95% posterior probability of an OR less than 1.2 vs control. Intervention equivalence was defined as greater than 90% probability that the OR (compared with each other) was between 1/1.2 and 1.2 for 2 noncontrol interventions. Results: The aspirin and P2Y12 inhibitor groups met the predefined criteria for equivalence at an adaptive analysis and were statistically pooled for further analysis. Enrollment
Cano-Gamez E, Burnham KL, Goh C, et al., 2022, An immune dysfunction score for stratification of patients with acute infection based on whole blood gene expression
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Dysregulated host responses to infection can lead to organ dysfunction and sepsis, causing millions of deaths globally each year. To alleviate this burden, improved prognostication and biomarkers of response are urgently needed. We investigated the use of whole blood transcriptomics for stratification of patients with severe infection by integrating data from 3,149 samples of sepsis patients and healthy individuals into a gene expression reference map. We used this map to derive a quantitative sepsis response signature (SRSq) score reflective of immune dysfunction and predictive of clinical outcomes, which can be estimated using a 19-gene signature. Finally, we built a machine learning framework, SepstratifieR, to deploy SRSq in sepsis, H1N1 influenza, and COVID-19, demonstrating clinically relevant stratification across diseases and revealing the physiological alterations linking immune dysregulation to mortality. Our method enables early identification of individuals with dysfunctional immune profiles, thus bringing us closer to precision medicine in infection.</jats:p>
Fisher BA, Veenith T, Slade D, et al., 2022, Namilumab or infliximab compared with standard of care in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (CATALYST): a randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial., The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 10, Pages: 255-266, ISSN: 2213-2600
BACKGROUND: Dysregulated inflammation is associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19. We aimed to assess the efficacy of namilumab (a granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor inhibitor) and infliximab (a tumour necrosis factor inhibitor) in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, to prioritise agents for phase 3 trials. METHODS: In this randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, parallel-group, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial (CATALYST), we recruited patients (aged ≥16 years) admitted to hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations of 40 mg/L or greater, at nine hospitals in the UK. Participants were randomly assigned with equal probability to usual care or usual care plus a single intravenous dose of namilumab (150 mg) or infliximab (5 mg/kg). Randomisation was stratified by care location within the hospital (ward vs intensive care unit [ICU]). Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was improvement in inflammation, measured by CRP concentration over time, analysed using Bayesian multilevel models. This trial is now complete and is registered with ISRCTN, 40580903. FINDINGS: Between June 15, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021, we screened 299 patients and 146 were enrolled and randomly assigned to usual care (n=54), namilumab (n=57), or infliximab (n=35). For the primary outcome, 45 patients in the usual care group were compared with 52 in the namilumab group, and 29 in the usual care group were compared with 28 in the infliximab group. The probabilities that the interventions were superior to usual care alone in reducing CRP concentration over time were 97% for namilumab and 15% for infliximab; the point estimates for treatment-time interactions were -0·09 (95% CI -0·19 to 0·00) for namilumab and 0·06 (-0·05 to 0·17) for infliximab. 134 adverse events occurred in 30 (55%) of 55 patients in the namilumab group compared with
Jones T, Janani L, Gordon A, et al., 2022, A novel role for cytochrome P450 epoxygenase metabolites in septic shock, Critical Care Explorations, Vol: 4, ISSN: 2639-8028
Objectives Oxylipins are oxidative breakdown products of cell membrane fatty acids. Animal models have demonstrated that oxylipins generated by the P450 epoxygenase pathway may be implicated in septic shock pathology. However, these mediators are relatively unexplored in humans with septic shock. We aimed to determine if there were patterns of oxylipins that were associated with 28-day septic shock mortality and organ dysfunction. Design Retrospective analysis of samples collected during the Vasopressin vs. Norepinephrine as Initial Therapy in Septic Shock trial.Setting Intensive Care Units in the United KingdomPatients Adults recruited within six hours of onset of septic shock. Interventions Trial interventions were not considered in this analysis.Measurements and Main Results Oxylipin profiling was performed on 404 serum samples from 152 patients using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Non-survivors were found to have higher levels of 14,15-dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid at baseline (DHET) than survivors (p=0.02). Patients with 14,15-DHET levels above the lower limit of quantification of the assay were more likely to die than patients with levels below this limit (Hazard Ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.5). Patients with measurable 14,15-DHET had higher levels of organ dysfunction and fewer renal failure free days than those in whom it was unmeasurable. Considering samples collected over the first week of intensive care stay, measurable levels of DHET species were associated with higher daily SOFA scores which appeared to be accounted for predominantly by the liver component. Measurable 14,15-DHET showed positive correlation with bilirubin (rs=0.38, p<0.001) and lactate (rs=0.27, p=0.001).Conclusions The P450 epoxygenase-derived DHET species of oxylipins were associated with organ, particularly liver, dysfunction in septic shock and 14,15-DHET was associated with septic shock mortality. These results support further investigation into the role of the P450 epoxygena
Fallerini C, Picchiotti N, Baldassarri M, et al., 2022, Common, low-frequency, rare, and ultra-rare coding variants contribute to COVID-19 severity, Human Genetics, Vol: 141, Pages: 147-173, ISSN: 0340-6717
The combined impact of common and rare exonic variants in COVID-19 host genetics is currently insufficiently understood. Here, common and rare variants from whole-exome sequencing data of about 4000 SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals were used to define an interpretable machine-learning model for predicting COVID-19 severity. First, variants were converted into separate sets of Boolean features, depending on the absence or the presence of variants in each gene. An ensemble of LASSO logistic regression models was used to identify the most informative Boolean features with respect to the genetic bases of severity. The Boolean features selected by these logistic models were combined into an Integrated PolyGenic Score that offers a synthetic and interpretable index for describing the contribution of host genetics in COVID-19 severity, as demonstrated through testing in several independent cohorts. Selected features belong to ultra-rare, rare, low-frequency, and common variants, including those in linkage disequilibrium with known GWAS loci. Noteworthily, around one quarter of the selected genes are sex-specific. Pathway analysis of the selected genes associated with COVID-19 severity reflected the multi-organ nature of the disease. The proposed model might provide useful information for developing diagnostics and therapeutics, while also being able to guide bedside disease management.
ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group, 2021, The value of open-source clinical science in pandemic response: lessons from ISARIC., Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol: 21, Pages: 1623-1624, ISSN: 1473-3099
Axfors C, Janiaud P, Schmitt AM, et al., 2021, Association between convalescent plasma treatment and mortality in COVID-19: a collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-23, ISSN: 1471-2334
BackgroundConvalescent plasma has been widely used to treat COVID-19 and is under investigation in numerous randomized clinical trials, but results are publicly available only for a small number of trials. The objective of this study was to assess the benefits of convalescent plasma treatment compared to placebo or no treatment and all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19, using data from all available randomized clinical trials, including unpublished and ongoing trials (Open Science Framework, https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/GEHFX).MethodsIn this collaborative systematic review and meta-analysis, clinical trial registries (ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform), the Cochrane COVID-19 register, the LOVE database, and PubMed were searched until April 8, 2021. Investigators of trials registered by March 1, 2021, without published results were contacted via email. Eligible were ongoing, discontinued and completed randomized clinical trials that compared convalescent plasma with placebo or no treatment in COVID-19 patients, regardless of setting or treatment schedule. Aggregated mortality data were extracted from publications or provided by investigators of unpublished trials and combined using the Hartung–Knapp–Sidik–Jonkman random effects model. We investigated the contribution of unpublished trials to the overall evidence.ResultsA total of 16,477 patients were included in 33 trials (20 unpublished with 3190 patients, 13 published with 13,287 patients). 32 trials enrolled only hospitalized patients (including 3 with only intensive care unit patients). Risk of bias was low for 29/33 trials. Of 8495 patients who received convalescent plasma, 1997 died (23%), and of 7982 control patients, 1952 died (24%). The combined risk ratio for all-cause mortality was 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.92; 1.02) with between-study heterogeneity not beyond chance (I2 = 0%). The RECOVERY trial had 69.8% and the unpub
Ratcliff J, Al-Beidh F, Bibi S, et al., 2021, Highly-Sensitive Lineage Discrimination of SARS-CoV-2 Variants through Allele-Specific Probe Polymerase Chain Reaction
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Introduction</jats:title><jats:p>Tools to detect SARS-Coronavirus-2 variants of concern and track the ongoing evolution of the virus are necessary to support public health efforts and the design and evaluation of novel COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been adopted as the gold standard method for discriminating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, alternative methods may be required when processing samples with low viral loads or low RNA quality.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>An allele-specific probe polymerase chain reaction (ASP-PCR) targeting lineage-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was developed and used to screen 1,082 samples from two clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil. Probit regression models were developed to compare ASP-PCR performance against 1,771 NGS results for the same cohorts.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>Individual SNPs were shown to readily identify specific variants of concern. ASP-PCR was shown to discriminate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with a higher likelihood than NGS over a wide range of viral loads. Comparative advantage for ASP-PCR over NGS was most pronounced in samples with Ct values between 26-30 and in samples that showed evidence of degradation. Results for samples screened by ASP-PCR and NGS showed 99% concordant results.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Discussion</jats:title><jats:p>ASP-PCR is well-suited to augment but not replace NGS. The method can differentiate SARS-COV-2 lineages with high accuracy and would be best deployed to screen samples with lower viral loads or that may suffer from degradation. Future work should investigate further destabilization from primer:target base mismatch through
Writing Committee for the REMAP-CAP Investigators, Estcourt LJ, Turgeon AF, et al., 2021, Effect of convalescent plasma on organ support-free days in critically Ill patients with COVID-19: a randomized clinical trial., JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol: 326, Pages: 1690-1702, ISSN: 0098-7484
Importance: The evidence for benefit of convalescent plasma for critically ill patients with COVID-19 is inconclusive. Objective: To determine whether convalescent plasma would improve outcomes for critically ill adults with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: The ongoing Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) enrolled and randomized 4763 adults with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 between March 9, 2020, and January 18, 2021, within at least 1 domain; 2011 critically ill adults were randomized to open-label interventions in the immunoglobulin domain at 129 sites in 4 countries. Follow-up ended on April 19, 2021. Interventions: The immunoglobulin domain randomized participants to receive 2 units of high-titer, ABO-compatible convalescent plasma (total volume of 550 mL ± 150 mL) within 48 hours of randomization (n = 1084) or no convalescent plasma (n = 916). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary ordinal end point was organ support-free days (days alive and free of intensive care unit-based organ support) up to day 21 (range, -1 to 21 days; patients who died were assigned -1 day). The primary analysis was an adjusted bayesian cumulative logistic model. Superiority was defined as the posterior probability of an odds ratio (OR) greater than 1 (threshold for trial conclusion of superiority >99%). Futility was defined as the posterior probability of an OR less than 1.2 (threshold for trial conclusion of futility >95%). An OR greater than 1 represented improved survival, more organ support-free days, or both. The prespecified secondary outcomes included in-hospital survival; 28-day survival; 90-day survival; respiratory support-free days; cardiovascular support-free days; progression to invasive mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal mechanical oxygenation, or death; intensive care unit length of stay; hospital length of stay; World Health Or
Gordon AC, Angus DC, Derde LPG, 2021, Interleukin-6 Receptor Antagonists in Critically Ill Patients with Covid-19. Reply., N Engl J Med, Vol: 385, Pages: 1147-1149
The REMAP-CAP, ACTIV-4a, and ATTACC Investigators, 2021, Therapeutic anticoagulation with heparin in critically Ill patients with Covid-19, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 385, Pages: 777-789, ISSN: 0028-4793
BACKGROUNDThrombosis and inflammation may contribute to morbidity and mortality among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We hypothesized that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation would improve outcomes in critically ill patients with Covid-19.METHODSIn an open-label, adaptive, multiplatform, randomized clinical trial, critically ill patients with severe Covid-19 were randomly assigned to a pragmatically defined regimen of either therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin or pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in accordance with local usual care. The primary outcome was organ support–free days, evaluated on an ordinal scale that combined in-hospital death (assigned a value of −1) and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 among patients who survived to hospital discharge.RESULTSThe trial was stopped when the prespecified criterion for futility was met for therapeutic-dose anticoagulation. Data on the primary outcome were available for 1098 patients (534 assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and 564 assigned to usual-care thromboprophylaxis). The median value for organ support–free days was 1 (interquartile range, −1 to 16) among the patients assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and was 4 (interquartile range, −1 to 16) among the patients assigned to usual-care thromboprophylaxis (adjusted proportional odds ratio, 0.83; 95% credible interval, 0.67 to 1.03; posterior probability of futility [defined as an odds ratio <1.2], 99.9%). The percentage of patients who survived to hospital discharge was similar in the two groups (62.7% and 64.5%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 0.84; 95% credible interval, 0.64 to 1.11). Major bleeding occurred in 3.8% of the patients assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and in 2.3% of those assigned to usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis.CONCLUSIONSIn critically ill patients with Covid-19, an initial strategy of therapeu
The ATTACC, ACTIV-4a, and REMAP-CAP Investigators, 2021, Therapeutic anticoagulation with heparin in noncritically Ill patients with Covid-19, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol: 385, Pages: 790-802, ISSN: 0028-4793
BACKGROUNDThrombosis and inflammation may contribute to the risk of death and complications among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We hypothesized that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation may improve outcomes in noncritically ill patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19.METHODSIn this open-label, adaptive, multiplatform, controlled trial, we randomly assigned patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and who were not critically ill (which was defined as an absence of critical care–level organ support at enrollment) to receive pragmatically defined regimens of either therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin or usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. The primary outcome was organ support–free days, evaluated on an ordinal scale that combined in-hospital death (assigned a value of −1) and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 among patients who survived to hospital discharge. This outcome was evaluated with the use of a Bayesian statistical model for all patients and according to the baseline d-dimer level.RESULTSThe trial was stopped when prespecified criteria for the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation were met. Among 2219 patients in the final analysis, the probability that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation increased organ support–free days as compared with usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 98.6% (adjusted odds ratio, 1.27; 95% credible interval, 1.03 to 1.58). The adjusted absolute between-group difference in survival until hospital discharge without organ support favoring therapeutic-dose anticoagulation was 4.0 percentage points (95% credible interval, 0.5 to 7.2). The final probability of the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation over usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 97.3% in the high d-dimer cohort, 92.9% in the low d-dimer cohort, and 97.3% in the unknown d-dimer cohort. Major bleeding occurred in 1.9% of the patients receiving therapeutic
Festor P, Habil I, Jia Y, et al., 2021, Levels of Autonomy & Safety Assurance forAI-based Clinical Decision Systems, WAISE 2021 : 4th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence Safety Engineering
Ratcliff J, Nguyen D, Fish M, et al., 2021, Virological and serological characterization of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in the UK: Interactions of viral load, antibody status and B.1.1.7 variant infection., Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol: 224, Pages: 595-605, ISSN: 0022-1899
BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma containing neutralising antibody to SARS-CoV-2 is under investigation for COVID-19 treatment. We report diverse virological characteristics of UK intensive care patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomised controlled trial that potentially influence treatment outcomes. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected pre-treatment was quantified by PCR. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains using allele-specific probes or restriction site polymorphism (SfcI) targeting D1118H. RESULTS: Of 1274 subjects, 90% were PCR-positive with viral loads 118-1.7x10 11 IU/ml. Median viral loads were 40-fold higher in those seronegative for IgG antibodies (n=354; 28%) compared to seropositives (n=939; 72%). Frequencies of B.1.1.7 increased from <1% in early November, 2020 to 82% of subjects in January 2021. Seronegative individuals with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians 5.8x10 6 and 2.0 x10 5 IU/ml respectively; p=2x10 -15). However, viral load distributions were elevated in both seronegative and seropositive subjects infected with B.1.1.7 (4.0x10 6 and 1.6x10 6 IU/ml respectively). CONCLUSIONS: High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects and resistance to seroconversion indicate less effective clearance by innate and adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 strain, viral loads and antibody status define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.
Arabi Y, Gordon A, Derde L, et al., 2021, Lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine for critically ill patients with COVID-19: REMAP-CAP randomized control trial, Intensive Care Medicine, Vol: 47, Pages: 867-886, ISSN: 0342-4642
Purpose: To study the efficacy of lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Methods: Critically ill adults with COVID-19 were randomized to receive lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, combination therapy of lopinavir-ritonavir, and hydroxychloroquine or no antiviral therapy (control). The primary endpoint was an ordinal scale of organ-support free days. Analyses used a Bayesian cumulative logistic model and expressed treatment effects as an adjusted odds ratio (OR) where an OR >1 is favorable. Results: We randomized 694 patients to receive lopinavir-ritonavir (n=255), hydroxychloroquine (n=50), combination therapy (n=27) or control (n=362). The median (IQR) organ support-free days among patients in lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, and combination therapy groups was 4 (–1 to 15), 0 (–1 to 9) and –1 (–1 to 7), respectively, compared to 6 (–1 to 16) in the control group with in-hospital mortality of 88/249 (35%), 17/49 (35%), 13/26 (50%), respectively, compared to 106/353 (30%) in the control group. The three interventions decreased organ support-free days compared to control (OR [95% credible interval]: 0.73 [0.55, 0.99], 0.57 [0.35, 0.83] 0.41 [0.24, 0.72]), yielding posterior probabilities that reached the threshold futility (≥99.0%), and high probabilities of harm (98.0%, 99.9% and >99.9%, respectively). The three interventions reduced hospital survival compared with control (OR [95% CrI]: 0.65 [0.45, 0.95], 0.56 [0.30, 0.89], and 0.36 [0.17, 0.73]), yielding high probabilities of harm (98.5% and 99.4% and 99.8%, respectively). Conclusion: Among critically ill patients with COVID-19, lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, or combination therapy worsened outcomes compared to no antiviral therapy.Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02735707
Shankar-Hari M, Santhakumaran S, Prevost AT, et al., 2021, Defining phenotypes and treatment effect heterogeneity to inform acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis trials: secondary analyses of three RCTs, Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-104, ISSN: 2050-4365
BackgroundSepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome are two heterogeneous acute illnesses with high risk of death and for which there are many ‘statistically negative’ randomised controlled trials. We hypothesised that negative randomised controlled trials occur because of between-participant differences in response to treatment, illness manifestation (phenotype) and risk of outcomes (heterogeneity).ObjectivesTo assess (1) heterogeneity of treatment effect, which tests whether or not treatment effect varies with a patient’s pre-randomisation risk of outcome; and (2) whether or not subphenotypes explain the treatment response differences in sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome demonstrated in randomised controlled trials.Study populationWe performed secondary analysis of two randomised controlled trials in patients with sepsis [i.e. the Vasopressin vs Noradrenaline as Initial Therapy in Septic Shock (VANISH) trial and the Levosimendan for the Prevention of Acute oRgan Dysfunction in Sepsis (LeoPARDS) trial] and one acute respiratory distress syndrome multicentre randomised controlled trial [i.e. the Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibition with simvastatin in Acute lung injury to Reduce Pulmonary dysfunction (HARP-2) trial], conducted in the UK. The VANISH trial is a 2 × 2 factorial randomised controlled trial of vasopressin (Pressyn AR®; Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Saint-Prex, Switzerland) and hydrocortisone sodium phosphate (hereafter referred to as hydrocortisone) (EfcortesolTM; Amdipharm plc, St Helier, Jersey) compared with placebo. The LeoPARDS trial is a two-arm-parallel-group randomised controlled trial of levosimendan (Simdax®; Orion Pharma, Espoo, Finland) compared with placebo. The HARP-2 trial is a parallel-group randomised controlled trial of simvastatin compared with placebo.MethodsTo test for heterogeneity of the effect on 28-day mortality of vasopressin, hydrocortisone and levosimendan in
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