Long-term (180-day) outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19 in the REMAP-CAP randomized clinical trial

Alisa M. Higgins*, Lindsay R. Berry, Elizabeth Lorenzi, Srinivas Murthy, Zoe McQuilten, Paul R. Mouncey, Farah Al-Beidh, Djillali Annane, Yaseen M. Arabi, Abi Beane, Wilma Van Bentum-Puijk, Zahra Bhimani, Marc J.M. Bonten, Charlotte A. Bradbury, Frank M. Brunkhorst, Aiden Burrell, Adrian Buzgau, Meredith Buxton, Walton N. Charles, Matthew CoveMichelle A. Detry, Lise J. Estcourt, Elizabeth O. Fagbodun, Mark Fitzgerald, Timothy D. Girard, Ewan C. Goligher, Herman Goossens, Rashan Haniffa, Thomas Hills, Christopher M. Horvat, David T. Huang, Nao Ichihara, Francois Lamontagne, John C. Marshall, Daniel F. McAuley, Anna McGlothlin, Shay P. McGuinness, Bryan J. McVerry, Matthew D. Neal, Alistair D. Nichol, Rachael L. Parke, Jane C. Parker, Karen Parry-Billings, Sam E.C. Peters, Luis F. Reyes, Kathryn M. Rowan, Hiroki Saito, Marlene S. Santos, Christina T. Saunders, Ary Serpa-Neto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Importance: The longer-term effects of therapies for the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19 are unknown. Objective: To determine the effect of multiple interventions for critically ill adults with COVID-19 on longer-term outcomes.

 Design, Setting, and Participants: Prespecified secondary analysis of an ongoing adaptive platform trial (REMAP-CAP) testing interventions within multiple therapeutic domains in which 4869 critically ill adult patients with COVID-19 were enrolled between March 9, 2020, and June 22, 2021, from 197 sites in 14 countries. The final 180-day follow-up was completed on March 2, 2022.

 Interventions: Patients were randomized to receive 1 or more interventions within 6 treatment domains: immune modulators (n = 2274), convalescent plasma (n = 2011), antiplatelet therapy (n = 1557), anticoagulation (n = 1033), antivirals (n = 726), and corticosteroids (n = 401).

Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was survival through day 180, analyzed using a bayesian piecewise exponential model. A hazard ratio (HR) less than 1 represented improved survival (superiority), while an HR greater than 1 represented worsened survival (harm); futility was represented by a relative improvement less than 20% in outcome, shown by an HR greater than 0.83.

Results: Among 4869 randomized patients (mean age, 59.3 years; 1537 [32.1%] women), 4107 (84.3%) had known vital status and 2590 (63.1%) were alive at day 180. IL-6 receptor antagonists had a greater than 99.9% probability of improving 6-month survival (adjusted HR, 0.74 [95% credible interval {CrI}, 0.61-0.90]) and antiplatelet agents had a 95% probability of improving 6-month survival (adjusted HR, 0.85 [95% CrI, 0.71-1.03]) compared with the control, while the probability of trial-defined statistical futility (HR >0.83) was high for therapeutic anticoagulation (99.9%; HR, 1.13 [95% CrI, 0.93-1.42]), convalescent plasma (99.2%; HR, 0.99 [95% CrI, 0.86-1.14]), and lopinavir-ritonavir (96.6%; HR, 1.06 [95% CrI, 0.82-1.38]) and the probabilities of harm from hydroxychloroquine (96.9%; HR, 1.51 [95% CrI, 0.98-2.29]) and the combination of lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine (96.8%; HR, 1.61 [95% CrI, 0.97-2.67]) were high. The corticosteroid domain was stopped early prior to reaching a predefined statistical trigger; there was a 57.1% to 61.6% probability of improving 6-month survival across varying hydrocortisone dosing strategies. 

Conclusions and Relevance: Among critically ill patients with COVID-19 randomized to receive 1 or more therapeutic interventions, treatment with an IL-6 receptor antagonist had a greater than 99.9% probability of improved 180-day mortality compared with patients randomized to the control, and treatment with an antiplatelet had a 95.0% probability of improved 180-day mortality compared with patients randomized to the control. Overall, when considered with previously reported short-term results, the findings indicate that initial in-hospital treatment effects were consistent for most therapies through 6 months..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Early online date16 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support : The Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) consortium by the European Union, FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1 (#602525), the Rapid European COVID-19 Emergency Research response (RECOVER) consortium by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (#101003589), the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (#APP1101719), the Australian Medical Research Future Fund (#APP2002132), the Health Research Council of New Zealand (#16/631), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Innovative Clinical Trials Program Grant (#158584) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding (#447335), the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, the Health Research Board of Ireland (CTN 2014-012), the UPMC Learning While Doing Program, the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, the French Ministry of Health (PHRC-20-0147), the Wellcome Trust Innovations Project (215522), the Minderoo Foundation, the EU Programme Emergency Support Instrument, the NHS Blood and Transplant Research and Development Programme, the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium, the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research, Amgen, Eisai, and the Pittsburgh Foundation. Dr Higgins is funded by an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship (GNT2008447). Dr McQuilten is funded by an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship (APP194811). Dr Gordon is funded by an NIHR Research Professorship (RP-2015-06-18) and Dr Shankar-Hari by an NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CS-2016-16-011). Dr Turgeon is the Chairholder of the Canada Research Chair in Critical Care Neurology and Trauma. Dr Lawler is supported by a career award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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