Tocilizumab Treatment Reduces Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19: A Retrospective Cohort Study at a New York City Hospital

Merjona Saliaj, Matthew Li, Vincent Rizzo, Mahmoud Nassar, Nso Nso, Zarwa Idrees, Luis A. Medina, Anastasia Novikov, Salim Yaghi, Francisco J. Cuevas, Carolyn M. Salafia, Hamid Razaki, Charles Berman, Issac Sachmechi, Theo Trandafirescu, Debra Brennessel, George T. Martin, Jazila Mantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims This study aimed to investigate the potential of tocilizumab therapy in minimizing mortality and mechanical ventilation (MV) requirements among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods A single-center, retrospective, observational cohort study of 375 patients with severe COVID-19 (from March 1 to April 22, 2020) included 150 patients treated with tocilizumab and 225 consecutive control patients adjusted for age and sex. Both groups received concomitant standard of care treatments in addition to tocilizumab. The statistical methods relied on survival analyses, conditional logistic regression models, and contingency analyses. The outcomes included in-hospital mortality and the MV requirement. Results Tocilizumab associated with improved in-hospital mortality (34.7% vs 46.7%, P = 0.0136) and lower requirement for MV on days 1, 3, and 5 after treatment (P = 0.005, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.0021, respectively). Lower mortality was observed if tocilizumab was administered within 48 hours after admission (P = 0.0226). Older age and low blood oxygen saturation on admission decreased the odds of survival (P < 0.005). Conclusions Our study demonstrates a significant reduction in mortality and decreased requirement of MV with tocilizumab treatment in addition to the standard of care. Early administration of tocilizumab within 48 hours reduces the risk of mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number266
JournalInfectious Diseases in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • CRP
  • IL-6
  • mechanical ventilation
  • mortality
  • oxygen saturation
  • tocilizumab


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