Apheresis and COVID-19 in intensive care unit (ICU)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Accumulating evidence suggests that the severity of COVID-19 is due to high levels of circulating inflammatory mediators including cytokines and chemokines leading to cytokine storm syndrome (CSS). Patients are admitted in ICU with severe respiratory failure, but can also develop acute renal failure and multi organ failure. Advances in science and technology have permitted the development of more sophisticated therapies such as hemoperfusion, and various blood purification devices, for the treatment of ARDS and septic shock. Adsorptive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) is an extracorporeal circulation therapy designed for selective absorption of elevated and activated myeloid lineage cells, inducing immunomodulartory effects with decrease of inflammatory cytokines. It has been shown efficacy in inflammatory bowel disease and psoriatic arthritis. In Covid-19 it has been used in one case report in a patient having comorbidity ulcerative colitis. Apart from the control of the colitis there was an unexpected improvement of the pulmonary symptoms and the septic shocK.
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