The authors treated seven hospitalized patients with documented severe COVID-19 progression, elevated CRP plasma levels and signs of respiratory failure with CRP apheresis. Two to twelve CRP apheresis sessions were performed generally in 24h time intervals and depending on CRP plasma levels. All patients had comorbidities.
CRP apheresis reduced CRP plasma levels by up to 84% within a few hours, without exhibiting side effects in any patient. Despite signs of severe lung infiltration in all patients, only one patient died. The other patients showed improvements within the chest X-ray after CRP apheresis and were able to recover regardless of intubation and/or ECMO (4 patients). All remaining six patients were discharged from the hospital in good clinical condition.
The clinical observations support the hypothesis that CRP is a candidate to be therapeutically targeted in the early stage of severe COVID-19.