Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has become a global health crisis since it was first reported in December 2019. In a subset of infected subjects, pneumonia, multi-organ failure, and eventually death can occur. Frail patients and those with comorbidities are believed to be at increased risk of severe manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with light chain (AL) amyloidosis have a hematologic malignancy that causes multi-organ dysfunction and can be at higher risk of complications and death. The International Society of Amyloidosis (ISA) has issued a guidance (Kastritis et al. BJH 2020, https://cms.cws.net/content/isaamyloidosis.org/files/ISA%20recommendations%20Covid-19%20v_%203_3.pdf) for patients with amyloidosis during the pandemic and called for an international data collection in April 2020. Aim of this study is to report the preliminary data of the ongoing international survey regarding systemic AL amyloidosis and COVID-19.
Methods: The survey was proposed by the ISA Board and approved by the coordinating institution's Ethics Committee. All members of the ISA were invited to participate by email and a link for participation is online on ISA website. RedCap software was used for the data collection.
Results: Twelve Institutions requested the access to the data collection system from 7 countries. At the data lock of July 26, 2020, 29 patients with systemic amyloidoses were collected from 7 different Institutions. Systemic AL amyloidosis patients reported so far were 19: 12 from the Pavia Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center (Italy), 3 from the Boston Medical Center (USA), and 1 patient each from the Columbia University Hospital (New York, USA), Hospital Clinic (Barcelona, Spain), Clinica Universitaria de Navarra (Navarra, Spain) and Amyloidosis Centrum (Heidelberg, Germany). Eleven (58%) had heart involvement, 8 (42%) had kidney and two or more organs were involved in 9 patients (47%). The most frequent comorbidities reported were history of hypertension in 7 (37%) and cardiovascular diseases in 3 (16%). Four (21%) patients were newly diagnosed and treatment-naïve at the time SARS-CoV-2 infection was documented. The remaining 15 patients had received a median number of 2 previous lines of therapy (range 1-3). Nine (47%) patients were on active chemotherapy at the time of COVID-19 infection. Five were receiving daratumumab combinations, and the 4 remaining patients were on cyclophosphamide, bortezomib and dexamethasone, oral melphalan and dexamethasone, lenalidomide and ixazomib. Relevant concomitant medications were anti-hypertensive drugs in 26% of cases and diuretics in 21%. One patient was on dialysis. COVID-19-related symptoms were fever 11 (58%), cough 8 (42%), anosmia and ageusia. Pneumonia was documented in 10 (53%) patients, 5 of whom had acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (26%). Four of them were treated with non-mechanical ventilation and one accessed intensive care support. Three of the 5 patients with severe COVID-19 had heart involvement, 2/5 had concomitant heart and kidney involved and 3 was infected while on active chemotherapy. Azytromicin was used in 6 (26%) cases, which was in combination with hydroxycloroquine in 4 of them. Three patients received steroids as treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection, while anticoagulant therapy was used only in two cases. Lopinavir, tocilizumab and sarilumab were used in one patient each. Four patients (21%) died in the whole cohort. Three had ARDS and one patient died few weeks after the recovery of COVID-19 infection. All deceased patients had heart involvement, 2 were on active therapy (daratumumab plus bortezomib and ixazomib plus dexamethasone). Two patients with kidney involvement at diagnosis, one with ARDS and one with a radiological documented pneumonia treated with non-mechanical ventilation recovered from COVID-19 but developed subsequent worsening of renal function, requiring dialysis in one case.
Conclusions: The fatality rate and the proportion of patients with severe COVID-19 in this series is in the higher range of reports from the general population. Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in renal failure in patients with renal AL amyloidosis.
Milani:Janssen: Other: Speaker honoraria; Pfizer: Other: Speaker honoraria; Celgene: Other: Travel support. Sanchorawala:Oncopeptide: Research Funding; Abbvie: Other: advisory board; Proclara: Other: advisory board; Caleum: Other: advisory board; Regeneron: Other: advisory board; Prothena: Research Funding; Takeda: Research Funding; Janssen: Research Funding; UpToDate: Patents & Royalties; Caelum: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding. Cibeira:Janssen: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Educational lectures; Akcea Therapeutics: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Honoraria, Other: Educational lectures; Amgen: Honoraria, Other: Educational lectures. Schönland:Janssen, Prothena, Takeda: Honoraria, Other: travel support to meetings, Research Funding. Palladini:Celgene: Other: Travel support; Jannsen Cilag: Honoraria, Other.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.