Background: In this retrospective study, we aimed to compare the laboratory and clinical results of cytokine hem-adsorption as an immunomodulation therapy in COVID-19 ICU patients with or without sepsis.
Methods: The levels of PCT, CRP, and ferritin were determined as indicators of infection/sepsis; the levels of in-terleukins (IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10, and TNF-α) were determined as indicators of cytokine storm were compared. APACHE score, SOFA score, and mortality rates were compared for the progression of the disease in 23 COVID-19 patients.
Results: The therapy was generally successful in reducing the levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α but the levels measured after the procedure did not differ among the patients with or without sepsis, suggesting that the presence of sepsis did not affect the efficacy and function of the cytokine hemadsorption procedure in COVID-19 patients. All parameters were reduced after the procedure except the levels of PCT and ferritin and mortality rates of patients diagnosed with sepsis. The level of PCT was significantly higher in these patients compared with the patients without sepsis while the ferritin and mortality did not show any significant difference between the two groups, suggesting that the cytokine hemadsorption may be safe in the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.
Conclusions: As a result, the progression of sepsis in COVID-19 may be avoided with cytokine hemadsorption applied as an immunomodulator therapy. However, this therapy should be further explored and validated prior to its introduction to everyday clinical practice when the epidemic conditions end.