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03-04-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

News in brief

Mild COVID-19 reported in a patient with SSc–ILD

Author:
Claire Barnard

medwireNews: The authors of a case report discuss the experience of a patient with systemic sclerosis (SSc)-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD) who developed a mild form of COVID-19.

Oliver Distler (University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland) and colleagues say that the patient was a 57-year-old woman with SSc–ILD, obesity, and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, who was receiving treatment with tocilizumab.

As reported in a letter published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, treatment with the interleukin (IL)-6 inhibitor was temporarily suspended following a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The patient experienced a mild COVID-19 disease course, and was free of symptoms after 10 days. Tocilizumab was resumed after symptom resolution and a negative test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Noting that higher levels of IL-6 have been associated with increased mortality risk in Chinese COVID-19 patients, Distler and team suggest that agents such as tocilizumab “may even prevent the development of severe COVID-19.”

Therefore, “future prospective, controlled studies should include an analysis for the potential preventive effects of IL-6 blockade in COVID-19,” they conclude.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group

3 April 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-217442

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