Journal: N Engl J Med

Sorted by: date / impact
Abstract

Results of Two Cases of Pig-to-Human Kidney Xenotransplantation.

Montgomery RA, Stern JM, Lonze BE, Tatapudi VS, ... Mehta SA, Stewart ZA
Background
Xenografts from genetically modified pigs have become one of the most promising solutions to the dearth of human organs available for transplantation. The challenge in this model has been hyperacute rejection. To avoid this, pigs have been bred with a knockout of the alpha-1,3-galactosyltransferase gene and with subcapsular autologous thymic tissue.
Methods
We transplanted kidneys from these genetically modified pigs into two brain-dead human recipients whose circulatory and respiratory activity was maintained on ventilators for the duration of the study. We performed serial biopsies and monitored the urine output and kinetic estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to assess renal function and xenograft rejection.
Results
The xenograft in both recipients began to make urine within moments after reperfusion. Over the 54-hour study, the kinetic eGFR increased from 23 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area before transplantation to 62 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 after transplantation in Recipient 1 and from 55 to 109 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 in Recipient 2. In both recipients, the creatinine level, which had been at a steady state, decreased after implantation of the xenograft, from 1.97 to 0.82 mg per deciliter in Recipient 1 and from 1.10 to 0.57 mg per deciliter in Recipient 2. The transplanted kidneys remained pink and well-perfused, continuing to make urine throughout the study. Biopsies that were performed at 6, 24, 48, and 54 hours revealed no signs of hyperacute or antibody-mediated rejection. Hourly urine output with the xenograft was more than double the output with the native kidneys.
Conclusions
Genetically modified kidney xenografts from pigs remained viable and functioning in brain-dead human recipients for 54 hours, without signs of hyperacute rejection. (Funded by Lung Biotechnology.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 19 May 2022; 386:1889-1898
Montgomery RA, Stern JM, Lonze BE, Tatapudi VS, ... Mehta SA, Stewart ZA
N Engl J Med: 19 May 2022; 386:1889-1898 | PMID: 35584156
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Abstract

Albuterol-Budesonide Fixed-Dose Combination Rescue Inhaler for Asthma.

Papi A, Chipps BE, Beasley R, Panettieri RA, ... Cappelletti C, Albers FC
Background
As asthma symptoms worsen, patients typically rely on short-acting β2-agonist (SABA) rescue therapy, but SABAs do not address worsening inflammation, which leaves patients at risk for severe asthma exacerbations. The use of a fixed-dose combination of albuterol and budesonide, as compared with albuterol alone, as rescue medication might reduce the risk of severe asthma exacerbation.
Methods
We conducted a multinational, phase 3, double-blind, randomized, event-driven trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of albuterol-budesonide, as compared with albuterol alone, as rescue medication in patients with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma who were receiving inhaled glucocorticoid-containing maintenance therapies, which were continued throughout the trial. Adults and adolescents (≥12 years of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to one of three trial groups: a fixed-dose combination of 180 μg of albuterol and 160 μg of budesonide (with each dose consisting of two actuations of 90 μg and 80 μg, respectively [the higher-dose combination group]), a fixed-dose combination of 180 μg of albuterol and 80 μg of budesonide (with each dose consisting of two actuations of 90 μg and 40 μg, respectively [the lower-dose combination group]), or 180 μg of albuterol (with each dose consisting of two actuations of 90 μg [the albuterol-alone group]). Children 4 to 11 years of age were randomly assigned to only the lower-dose combination group or the albuterol-alone group. The primary efficacy end point was the first event of severe asthma exacerbation in a time-to-event analysis, which was performed in the intention-to-treat population.
Results
A total of 3132 patients underwent randomization, among whom 97% were 12 years of age or older. The risk of severe asthma exacerbation was significantly lower, by 26%, in the higher-dose combination group than in the albuterol-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 0.89; P = 0.001). The hazard ratio in the lower-dose combination group, as compared with the albuterol-alone group, was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.71 to 1.00; P = 0.052). The incidence of adverse events was similar in the three trial groups.
Conclusions
The risk of severe asthma exacerbation was significantly lower with as-needed use of a fixed-dose combination of 180 μg of albuterol and 160 μg of budesonide than with as-needed use of albuterol alone among patients with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma who were receiving a wide range of inhaled glucocorticoid-containing maintenance therapies. (Funded by Avillion; MANDALA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03769090.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 May 2022; epub ahead of print
Papi A, Chipps BE, Beasley R, Panettieri RA, ... Cappelletti C, Albers FC
N Engl J Med: 15 May 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35569035
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Abstract

Trial of a Preferential Phosphodiesterase 4B Inhibitor for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Richeldi L, Azuma A, Cottin V, Hesslinger C, ... Maher TM, 1305-0013 Trial Investigators
Background
Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibition is associated with antiinflammatory and antifibrotic effects that may be beneficial in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods
In this phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we investigated the efficacy and safety of BI 1015550, an oral preferential inhibitor of the PDE4B subtype, in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive BI 1015550 at a dose of 18 mg twice daily or placebo. The primary end point was the change from baseline in the forced vital capacity (FVC) at 12 weeks, which we analyzed with a Bayesian approach separately according to background nonuse or use of an antifibrotic agent.
Results
A total of 147 patients were randomly assigned to receive BI 1015550 or placebo. Among patients without background antifibrotic use, the median change in the FVC was 5.7 ml (95% credible interval, -39.1 to 50.5) in the BI 1015550 group and -81.7 ml (95% credible interval, -133.5 to -44.8) in the placebo group (median difference, 88.4 ml; 95% credible interval, 29.5 to 154.2; probability that BI 1015550 was superior to placebo, 0.998). Among patients with background antifibrotic use, the median change in the FVC was 2.7 ml (95% credible interval, -32.8 to 38.2) in the BI 1015550 group and -59.2 ml (95% credible interval, -111.8 to -17.9) in the placebo group (median difference, 62.4 ml; 95% credible interval, 6.3 to 125.5; probability that BI 1015550 was superior to placebo, 0.986). A mixed model with repeated measures analysis provided results that were consistent with those of the Bayesian analysis. The most frequent adverse event was diarrhea. A total of 13 patients discontinued BI 1015550 treatment owing to adverse events. The percentages of patients with serious adverse events or severe adverse events were similar in the two trial groups.
Conclusions
In this placebo-controlled trial, treatment with BI 1015550, either alone or with background use of an antifibrotic agent, prevented a decrease in lung function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; 1305-0013 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04419506.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 15 May 2022; epub ahead of print
Richeldi L, Azuma A, Cottin V, Hesslinger C, ... Maher TM, 1305-0013 Trial Investigators
N Engl J Med: 15 May 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35569036
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Abstract

Capsid Inhibition with Lenacapavir in Multidrug-Resistant HIV-1 Infection.

Segal-Maurer S, DeJesus E, Stellbrink HJ, Castagna A, ... Molina JM, CAPELLA Study Investigators
Background
Patients with multidrug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection have limited treatment options. Lenacapavir is a first-in-class capsid inhibitor that showed substantial antiviral activity in a phase 1b study.
Methods
In this phase 3 trial, we enrolled patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 infection in two cohorts, according to the change in the plasma HIV-1 RNA level between the screening and cohort-selection visits. In cohort 1, patients were first randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive oral lenacapavir or placebo in addition to their failing therapy for 14 days; during the maintenance period, starting on day 15, patients in the lenacapavir group received subcutaneous lenacapavir once every 6 months, and those in the placebo group received oral lenacapavir, followed by subcutaneous lenacapavir; both groups also received optimized background therapy. In cohort 2, all the patients received open-label oral lenacapavir with optimized background therapy on days 1 through 14; subcutaneous lenacapavir was then administered once every 6 months starting on day 15. The primary end point was the percentage of patients in cohort 1 who had a decrease of at least 0.5 log10 copies per milliliter in the viral load by day 15; a key secondary end point was a viral load of less than 50 copies per milliliter at week 26.
Results
A total of 72 patients were enrolled, with 36 in each cohort. In cohort 1, a decrease of at least 0.5 log10 copies per milliliter in the viral load by day 15 was observed in 21 of 24 patients (88%) in the lenacapavir group and in 2 of 12 patients (17%) in the placebo group (absolute difference, 71 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 35 to 90). At week 26, a viral load of less than 50 copies per milliliter was reported in 81% of the patients in cohort 1 and in 83% in cohort 2, with a least-squares mean increase in the CD4+ count of 75 and 104 cells per cubic millimeter, respectively. No serious adverse events related to lenacapavir were identified. In both cohorts, lenacapavir-related capsid substitutions that were associated with decreased susceptibility developed in 8 patients during the maintenance period (6 with M66I substitutions).
Conclusions
In patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 infection, those who received lenacapavir had a greater reduction from baseline in viral load than those who received placebo. (Funded by Gilead Sciences; CAPELLA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04150068.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 12 May 2022; 386:1793-1803
Segal-Maurer S, DeJesus E, Stellbrink HJ, Castagna A, ... Molina JM, CAPELLA Study Investigators
N Engl J Med: 12 May 2022; 386:1793-1803 | PMID: 35544387
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Abstract

Evaluation of mRNA-1273 Covid-19 Vaccine in Children 6 to 11 Years of Age.

Creech CB, Anderson E, Berthaud V, Yildirim I, ... Schnyder Ghamloush S, KidCOVE Study Group
Background
Vaccination of children to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is an urgent public health need. The safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in children 6 to 11 years of age are unknown.
Methods
Part 1 of this ongoing phase 2-3 trial was open label for dose selection; part 2 was an observer-blinded, placebo-controlled expansion evaluation of the selected dose. In part 2, we randomly assigned children (6 to 11 years of age) in a 3:1 ratio to receive two injections of mRNA-1273 (50 μg each) or placebo, administered 28 days apart. The primary objectives were evaluation of the safety of the vaccine in children and the noninferiority of the immune response in these children to that in young adults (18 to 25 years of age) in a related phase 3 trial. Secondary objectives included determination of the incidences of confirmed Covid-19 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, regardless of symptoms. Interim analysis results are reported.
Results
In part 1 of the trial, 751 children received 50-μg or 100-μg injections of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, and on the basis of safety and immunogenicity results, the 50-μg dose level was selected for part 2. In part 2 of the trial, 4016 children were randomly assigned to receive two injections of mRNA-1273 (50 μg each) or placebo and were followed for a median of 82 days (interquartile range, 14 to 94) after the first injection. This dose level was associated with mainly low-grade, transient adverse events, most commonly injection-site pain, headache, and fatigue. No vaccine-related serious adverse events, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, myocarditis, or pericarditis were reported as of the data-cutoff date. One month after the second injection (day 57), the neutralizing antibody titer in children who received mRNA-1273 at a 50-μg level was 1610 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1457 to 1780), as compared with 1300 (95% CI, 1171 to 1443) at the 100-μg level in young adults, with serologic responses in at least 99.0% of the participants in both age groups, findings that met the prespecified noninferiority success criterion. Estimated vaccine efficacy was 88.0% (95% CI, 70.0 to 95.8) against Covid-19 occurring 14 days or more after the first injection, at a time when B.1.617.2 (delta) was the dominant circulating variant.
Conclusions
Two 50-μg doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine were found to be safe and effective in inducing immune responses and preventing Covid-19 in children 6 to 11 years of age; these responses were noninferior to those in young adults. (Funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; KidCOVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04796896.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 11 May 2022; epub ahead of print
Creech CB, Anderson E, Berthaud V, Yildirim I, ... Schnyder Ghamloush S, KidCOVE Study Group
N Engl J Med: 11 May 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35544369
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Abstract

Efficacy and Safety of the RBD-Dimer-Based Covid-19 Vaccine ZF2001 in Adults.

Dai L, Gao L, Tao L, Hadinegoro SR, ... Gao GF, ZF2001 Global Trial Group
Background
The ZF2001 vaccine, which contains a dimeric form of the receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant, was shown to be safe, with an acceptable side-effect profile, and immunogenic in adults in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.
Methods
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to investigate the efficacy and confirm the safety of ZF2001. The trial was performed at 31 clinical centers across Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ecuador; an additional center in China was included in the safety analysis only. Adult participants (≥18 years of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive a total of three 25-μg doses (30 days apart) of ZF2001 or placebo. The primary end point was the occurrence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as confirmed on polymerase-chain-reaction assay, at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. A key secondary efficacy end point was the occurrence of severe-to-critical Covid-19 (including Covid-19-related death) at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose.
Results
Between December 12, 2020, and December 15, 2021, a total of 28,873 participants received at least one dose of ZF2001 or placebo and were included in the safety analysis; 25,193 participants who had completed the three-dose regimen, for whom there were approximately 6 months of follow-up data, were included in the updated primary efficacy analysis that was conducted at the second data cutoff date of December 15, 2021. In the updated analysis, primary end-point cases were reported in 158 of 12,625 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 580 of 12,568 participants in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 75.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71.0 to 79.8). Severe-to-critical Covid-19 occurred in 6 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 43 in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 87.6% (95% CI, 70.6 to 95.7); Covid-19-related death occurred in 2 and 12 participants, respectively, for a vaccine efficacy of 86.5% (95% CI, 38.9 to 98.5). The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events was balanced in the two groups, and there were no vaccine-related deaths. Most adverse reactions (98.5%) were of grade 1 or 2.
Conclusions
In a large cohort of adults, the ZF2001 vaccine was shown to be safe and effective against symptomatic and severe-to-critical Covid-19 for at least 6 months after full vaccination. (Funded by the National Science and Technology Major Project and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04646590.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 04 May 2022; epub ahead of print
Dai L, Gao L, Tao L, Hadinegoro SR, ... Gao GF, ZF2001 Global Trial Group
N Engl J Med: 04 May 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35507481
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Abstract

Efficacy and Safety of a Recombinant Plant-Based Adjuvanted Covid-19 Vaccine.

Hager KJ, Pérez Marc G, Gobeil P, Diaz RS, ... Ward BJ, CoVLP Study Team
Background
Coronavirus-like particles (CoVLP) that are produced in plants and display the prefusion spike glycoprotein of the original strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are combined with an adjuvant (Adjuvant System 03 [AS03]) to form the candidate vaccine.
Methods
In this phase 3, multinational, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 85 centers, we assigned adults (≥18 years of age) in a 1:1 ratio to receive two intramuscular injections of the CoVLP+AS03 vaccine or placebo 21 days apart. The primary objective of the trial was to determine the efficacy of the CoVLP+AS03 vaccine in preventing symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) beginning at least 7 days after the second injection, with the analysis performed after the detection of at least 160 cases.
Results
A total of 24,141 volunteers participated in the trial; the median age of the participants was 29 years. Covid-19 was confirmed by polymerase-chain-reaction assay in 165 participants in the intention-to-treat population; all viral samples that could be sequenced contained variants of the original strain. Vaccine efficacy was 69.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 56.7 to 78.8) against any symptomatic Covid-19 caused by five variants that were identified by sequencing. In a post hoc analysis, vaccine efficacy was 78.8% (95% CI, 55.8 to 90.8) against moderate-to-severe disease and 74.0% (95% CI, 62.1 to 82.5) among the participants who were seronegative at baseline. No severe cases of Covid-19 occurred in the vaccine group, in which the median viral load for breakthrough cases was lower than that in the placebo group by a factor of more than 100. Solicited adverse events were mostly mild or moderate and transient and were more frequent in the vaccine group than in the placebo group; local adverse events occurred in 92.3% and 45.5% of participants, respectively, and systemic adverse events in 87.3% and 65.0%. The incidence of unsolicited adverse events was similar in the two groups up to 21 days after each dose (22.7% and 20.4%) and from day 43 through day 201 (4.2% and 4.0%).
Conclusions
The CoVLP+AS03 vaccine was effective in preventing Covid-19 caused by a spectrum of variants, with efficacy ranging from 69.5% against symptomatic infection to 78.8% against moderate-to-severe disease. (Funded by Medicago; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04636697.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 04 May 2022; epub ahead of print
Hager KJ, Pérez Marc G, Gobeil P, Diaz RS, ... Ward BJ, CoVLP Study Team
N Engl J Med: 04 May 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35507508
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Abstract

Prefusion F Protein-Based Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immunization in Pregnancy.

Simões EAF, Center KJ, Tita ATN, Swanson KA, ... Dormitzer PR, Gurtman AC
Background
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a major cause of illness and death in infants worldwide, could be prevented by vaccination during pregnancy. The efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of a bivalent RSV prefusion F protein-based (RSVpreF) vaccine in pregnant women and their infants are uncertain.
Methods
In a phase 2b trial, we randomly assigned pregnant women, at 24 through 36 weeks\' gestation, to receive either 120 or 240 μg of RSVpreF vaccine (with or without aluminum hydroxide) or placebo. The trial included safety end points and immunogenicity end points that, in this interim analysis, included 50% titers of RSV A, B, and combined A/B neutralizing antibodies in maternal serum at delivery and in umbilical-cord blood, as well as maternal-to-infant transplacental transfer ratios.
Results
This planned interim analysis included 406 women and 403 infants; 327 women (80.5%) received RSVpreF vaccine. Most postvaccination reactions were mild to moderate; the incidence of local reactions was higher among women who received RSVpreF vaccine containing aluminum hydroxide than among those who received RSVpreF vaccine without aluminum hydroxide. The incidences of adverse events in the women and infants were similar in the vaccine and placebo groups; the type and frequency of these events were consistent with the background incidences among pregnant women and infants. The geometric mean ratios of 50% neutralizing titers between the infants of vaccine recipients and those of placebo recipients ranged from 9.7 to 11.7 among those with RSV A neutralizing antibodies and from 13.6 to 16.8 among those with RSV B neutralizing antibodies. Transplacental neutralizing antibody transfer ratios ranged from 1.41 to 2.10 and were higher with nonaluminum formulations than with aluminum formulations. Across the range of assessed gestational ages, infants of women who were immunized had similar titers in umbilical-cord blood and similar transplacental transfer ratios.
Conclusions
RSVpreF vaccine elicited neutralizing antibody responses with efficient transplacental transfer and without evident safety concerns. (Funded by Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04032093.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 28 Apr 2022; 386:1615-1626
Simões EAF, Center KJ, Tita ATN, Swanson KA, ... Dormitzer PR, Gurtman AC
N Engl J Med: 28 Apr 2022; 386:1615-1626 | PMID: 35476650
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Abstract

Nasal High-Flow Therapy during Neonatal Endotracheal Intubation.

Hodgson KA, Owen LS, Kamlin COF, Roberts CT, ... Davis PG, Manley BJ
Background
Neonatal endotracheal intubation often involves more than one attempt, and oxygen desaturation is common. It is unclear whether nasal high-flow therapy, which extends the time to desaturation during elective intubation in children and adults receiving general anesthesia, can improve the likelihood of successful neonatal intubation on the first attempt.
Methods
We performed a randomized, controlled trial to compare nasal high-flow therapy with standard care (no nasal high-flow therapy or supplemental oxygen) in neonates undergoing oral endotracheal intubation at two Australian tertiary neonatal intensive care units. Randomization of intubations to the high-flow group or the standard-care group was stratified according to trial center, the use of premedication for intubation (yes or no), and postmenstrual age of the infant (≤28 or >28 weeks). The primary outcome was successful intubation on the first attempt without physiological instability (defined as an absolute decrease in the peripheral oxygen saturation of >20% from the preintubation baseline level or bradycardia with a heart rate of <100 beats per minute) in the infant.
Results
The primary intention-to-treat analysis included the outcomes of 251 intubations in 202 infants; 124 intubations were assigned to the high-flow group and 127 to the standard-care group. The infants had a median postmenstrual age of 27.9 weeks and a median weight of 920 g at the time of intubation. A successful intubation on the first attempt without physiological instability was achieved in 62 of 124 intubations (50.0%) in the high-flow group and in 40 of 127 intubations (31.5%) in the standard-care group (adjusted risk difference, 17.6 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.0 to 29.2), for a number needed to treat of 6 (95% CI, 4 to 17) for 1 infant to benefit. Successful intubation on the first attempt regardless of physiological stability was accomplished in 68.5% of the intubations in the high-flow group and in 54.3% of the intubations in the standard-care group (adjusted risk difference, 15.8 percentage points; 95% CI, 4.3 to 27.3).
Conclusions
Among infants undergoing endotracheal intubation at two Australian tertiary neonatal intensive care units, nasal high-flow therapy during the procedure improved the likelihood of successful intubation on the first attempt without physiological instability in the infant. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12618001498280.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 28 Apr 2022; 386:1627-1637
Hodgson KA, Owen LS, Kamlin COF, Roberts CT, ... Davis PG, Manley BJ
N Engl J Med: 28 Apr 2022; 386:1627-1637 | PMID: 35476651
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Abstract

Intramuscular AZD7442 (Tixagevimab-Cilgavimab) for Prevention of Covid-19.

Levin MJ, Ustianowski A, De Wit S, Launay O, ... Esser MT, PROVENT Study Group
Background
The monoclonal-antibody combination AZD7442 is composed of tixagevimab and cilgavimab, two neutralizing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that have an extended half-life and have been shown to have prophylactic and therapeutic effects in animal models. Pharmacokinetic data in humans indicate that AZD7442 has an extended half-life of approximately 90 days.
Methods
In an ongoing phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years of age) who had an increased risk of an inadequate response to vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, or both. Participants were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive a single dose (two consecutive intramuscular injections, one containing tixagevimab and the other containing cilgavimab) of either 300 mg of AZD7442 or saline placebo, and they were followed for up to 183 days in the primary analysis. The primary safety end point was the incidence of adverse events after a single dose of AZD7442. The primary efficacy end point was symptomatic Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by means of reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction assay) occurring after administration of AZD7442 or placebo and on or before day 183.
Results
A total of 5197 participants underwent randomization and received one dose of AZD7442 or placebo (3460 in the AZD7442 group and 1737 in the placebo group). The primary analysis was conducted after 30% of the participants had become aware of their randomized assignment. In total, 1221 of 3461 participants (35.3%) in the AZD7442 group and 593 of 1736 participants (34.2%) in the placebo group reported having at least one adverse event, most of which were mild or moderate in severity. Symptomatic Covid-19 occurred in 8 of 3441 participants (0.2%) in the AZD7442 group and in 17 of 1731 participants (1.0%) in the placebo group (relative risk reduction, 76.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 46.0 to 90.0; P<0.001); extended follow-up at a median of 6 months showed a relative risk reduction of 82.8% (95% CI, 65.8 to 91.4). Five cases of severe or critical Covid-19 and two Covid-19-related deaths occurred, all in the placebo group.
Conclusions
A single dose of AZD7442 had efficacy for the prevention of Covid-19, without evident safety concerns. (Funded by AstraZeneca and the U.S. government; PROVENT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04625725.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 20 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Levin MJ, Ustianowski A, De Wit S, Launay O, ... Esser MT, PROVENT Study Group
N Engl J Med: 20 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35443106
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Abstract

Nonoperative or Surgical Treatment of Acute Achilles\' Tendon Rupture.

Myhrvold SB, Brouwer EF, Andresen TKM, Rydevik K, ... Ulstein S, Hoelsbrekken SE
Background
Whether surgical repair of an acute Achilles\' tendon rupture by an open-repair or minimally invasive approach is associated with better outcomes than nonsurgical treatment is not clear.
Methods
We performed a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial that compared nonoperative treatment, open repair, and minimally invasive surgery in adults with acute Achilles\' tendon rupture who presented to four trial centers. The primary outcome was the change from baseline in the Achilles\' tendon Total Rupture Score (scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better health status) at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of tendon rerupture.
Results
A total of 554 patients underwent randomization, and 526 patients were included in the final analysis. The mean changes in the Achilles\' tendon Total Rupture Score were -17.0 points in the nonoperative group, -16.0 points in the open-repair group, and -14.7 points in the minimally invasive surgery group (P = 0.57). Pairwise comparisons provided no evidence of differences between the groups. The changes from baseline in physical performance and patient-reported physical function were similar in the three groups. The number of tendon reruptures was higher in the nonoperative group (6.2%) than in the open-repair or minimally invasive surgery group (0.6% in each). There were 9 nerve injuries in the minimally invasive surgery group (in 5.2% of the patients) as compared with 5 in the open-repair group (in 2.8%) and 1 in the nonoperative group (in 0.6%).
Conclusions
In patients with Achilles\' tendon rupture, surgery (open repair or minimally invasive surgery) was not associated with better outcomes than nonoperative treatment at 12 months. (Funded by the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and Akershus University Hospital; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01785264.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1409-1420
Myhrvold SB, Brouwer EF, Andresen TKM, Rydevik K, ... Ulstein S, Hoelsbrekken SE
N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1409-1420 | PMID: 35417636
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Abstract

Rilzabrutinib, an Oral BTK Inhibitor, in Immune Thrombocytopenia.

Kuter DJ, Efraim M, Mayer J, Trněný M, ... Zheng B, Cooper N
Background
Rilzabrutinib, an oral, reversible covalent inhibitor of Bruton\'s tyrosine kinase, may increase platelet counts in patients with immune thrombocytopenia by means of dual mechanisms of action: decreased macrophage (Fcγ receptor)-mediated platelet destruction and reduced production of pathogenic autoantibodies.
Methods
In an international, adaptive, open-label, dose-finding, phase 1-2 clinical trial, we evaluated rilzabrutinib therapy in previously treated patients with immune thrombocytopenia. We used intrapatient dose escalation of oral rilzabrutinib over a period of 24 weeks; the lowest starting dose was 200 mg once daily, with higher starting doses of 400 mg once daily, 300 mg twice daily, and 400 mg twice daily. The primary end points were safety and platelet response (defined as at least two consecutive platelet counts of ≥50×103 per cubic millimeter and an increase from baseline of ≥20×103 per cubic millimeter without the use of rescue medication).
Results
Sixty patients were enrolled. At baseline, the median platelet count was 15×103 per cubic millimeter, the median duration of disease was 6.3 years, and patients had received a median of four different immune thrombocytopenia therapies previously. All the treatment-related adverse events were of grade 1 or 2 and transient. There were no treatment-related bleeding or thrombotic events of grade 2 or higher. At a median of 167.5 days (range, 4 to 293) of treatment, 24 of 60 patients (40%) overall and 18 of the 45 patients (40%) who had started rilzabrutinib treatment at the highest dose met the primary end point of platelet response. The median time to the first platelet count of at least 50×103 per cubic millimeter was 11.5 days. Among patients with a primary platelet response, the mean percentage of weeks with a platelet count of at least 50×103 per cubic millimeter was 65%.
Conclusions
Rilzabrutinib was active and associated with only low-level toxic effects at all dose levels. The dose of 400 mg twice daily was identified as the dose for further testing. Overall, rilzabrutinib showed a rapid and durable clinical activity that improved with length of treatment. (Funded by Sanofi; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03395210; EudraCT number, 2017-004012-19.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1421-1431
Kuter DJ, Efraim M, Mayer J, Trněný M, ... Zheng B, Cooper N
N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1421-1431 | PMID: 35417637
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Impact:
Abstract

Mitapivat versus Placebo for Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency.

Al-Samkari H, Galactéros F, Glenthøj A, Rothman JA, ... van Beers EJ, ACTIVATE Investigators
Background
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a rare, hereditary, chronic condition that is associated with hemolytic anemia. In a phase 2 study, mitapivat, an oral, first-in-class activator of erythrocyte pyruvate kinase, increased the hemoglobin level in patients with pyruvate kinase deficiency.
Methods
In this global, phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of mitapivat in adults with pyruvate kinase deficiency who were not receiving regular red-cell transfusions. The patients were assigned to receive either mitapivat (5 mg twice daily, with potential escalation to 20 or 50 mg twice daily) or placebo for 24 weeks. The primary end point was a hemoglobin response (an increase from baseline of ≥1.5 g per deciliter in the hemoglobin level) that was sustained at two or more scheduled assessments at weeks 16, 20, and 24. Secondary efficacy end points were the average change from baseline in the hemoglobin level, markers of hemolysis and hematopoiesis, and the change from baseline at week 24 in two pyruvate kinase deficiency-specific patient-reported outcome measures.
Results
Sixteen of the 40 patients (40%) in the mitapivat group had a hemoglobin response, as compared with none of the 40 patients in the placebo group (adjusted difference, 39.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 24.1 to 54.6; two-sided P<0.001). Patients who received mitapivat had a greater response than those who received placebo with respect to each secondary end point, including the average change from baseline in the hemoglobin level. The most common adverse events were nausea (in 7 patients [18%] in the mitapivat group and 9 patients [23%] in the placebo group) and headache (in 6 patients [15%] and 13 patients [33%], respectively). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 10 patients (25%) who received mitapivat and 5 patients (13%) who received placebo.
Conclusions
In patients with pyruvate kinase deficiency, mitapivat significantly increased the hemoglobin level, decreased hemolysis, and improved patient-reported outcomes. No new safety signals were identified in the patients who received mitapivat. (Funded by Agios Pharmaceuticals; ACTIVATE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03548220.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1432-1442
Al-Samkari H, Galactéros F, Glenthøj A, Rothman JA, ... van Beers EJ, ACTIVATE Investigators
N Engl J Med: 14 Apr 2022; 386:1432-1442 | PMID: 35417638
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Abstract

Fourth Dose of BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Setting.

Magen O, Waxman JG, Makov-Assif M, Vered R, ... Balicer RD, Dagan N
Background
With large waves of infection driven by the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), alongside evidence of waning immunity after the booster dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, several countries have begun giving at-risk persons a fourth vaccine dose.
Methods
To evaluate the early effectiveness of a fourth dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19-related outcomes, we analyzed data recorded by the largest health care organization in Israel from January 3 to February 18, 2022. We evaluated the relative effectiveness of a fourth vaccine dose as compared with that of a third dose given at least 4 months earlier among persons 60 years of age or older. We compared outcomes in persons who had received a fourth dose with those in persons who had not, individually matching persons from these two groups with respect to multiple sociodemographic and clinical variables. A sensitivity analysis was performed with the use of parametric Poisson regression.
Results
The primary analysis included 182,122 matched pairs. Relative vaccine effectiveness in days 7 to 30 after the fourth dose was estimated to be 45% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44 to 47) against polymerase-chain-reaction-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, 55% (95% CI, 53 to 58) against symptomatic Covid-19, 68% (95% CI, 59 to 74) against Covid-19-related hospitalization, 62% (95% CI, 50 to 74) against severe Covid-19, and 74% (95% CI, 50 to 90) against Covid-19-related death. The corresponding estimates in days 14 to 30 after the fourth dose were 52% (95% CI, 49 to 54), 61% (95% CI, 58 to 64), 72% (95% CI, 63 to 79), 64% (95% CI, 48 to 77), and 76% (95% CI, 48 to 91). In days 7 to 30 after a fourth vaccine dose, the difference in the absolute risk (three doses vs. four doses) was 180.1 cases per 100,000 persons (95% CI, 142.8 to 211.9) for Covid-19-related hospitalization and 68.8 cases per 100,000 persons (95% CI, 48.5 to 91.9) for severe Covid-19. In sensitivity analyses, estimates of relative effectiveness against documented infection were similar to those in the primary analysis.
Conclusions
A fourth dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine was effective in reducing the short-term risk of Covid-19-related outcomes among persons who had received a third dose at least 4 months earlier. (Funded by the Ivan and Francesca Berkowitz Family Living Laboratory Collaboration at Harvard Medical School and Clalit Research Institute.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 13 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Magen O, Waxman JG, Makov-Assif M, Vered R, ... Balicer RD, Dagan N
N Engl J Med: 13 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35417631
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Abstract

Neoadjuvant Nivolumab plus Chemotherapy in Resectable Lung Cancer.

Forde PM, Spicer J, Lu S, Provencio M, ... Girard N, CheckMate 816 Investigators
Background
Neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy confers a modest benefit over surgery alone for resectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In early-phase trials, nivolumab-based neoadjuvant regimens have shown promising clinical activity; however, data from phase 3 trials are needed to confirm these findings.
Methods
In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients with stage IB to IIIA resectable NSCLC to receive nivolumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy or platinum-based chemotherapy alone, followed by resection. The primary end points were event-free survival and pathological complete response (0% viable tumor in resected lung and lymph nodes), both evaluated by blinded independent review. Overall survival was a key secondary end point. Safety was assessed in all treated patients.
Results
The median event-free survival was 31.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 30.2 to not reached) with nivolumab plus chemotherapy and 20.8 months (95% CI, 14.0 to 26.7) with chemotherapy alone (hazard ratio for disease progression, disease recurrence, or death, 0.63; 97.38% CI, 0.43 to 0.91; P = 0.005). The percentage of patients with a pathological complete response was 24.0% (95% CI, 18.0 to 31.0) and 2.2% (95% CI, 0.6 to 5.6), respectively (odds ratio, 13.94; 99% CI, 3.49 to 55.75; P<0.001). Results for event-free survival and pathological complete response across most subgroups favored nivolumab plus chemotherapy over chemotherapy alone. At the first prespecified interim analysis, the hazard ratio for death was 0.57 (99.67% CI, 0.30 to 1.07) and did not meet the criterion for significance. Of the patients who underwent randomization, 83.2% of those in the nivolumab-plus-chemotherapy group and 75.4% of those in the chemotherapy-alone group underwent surgery. Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 33.5% of the patients in the nivolumab-plus-chemotherapy group and in 36.9% of those in the chemotherapy-alone group.
Conclusions
In patients with resectable NSCLC, neoadjuvant nivolumab plus chemotherapy resulted in significantly longer event-free survival and a higher percentage of patients with a pathological complete response than chemotherapy alone. The addition of nivolumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy did not increase the incidence of adverse events or impede the feasibility of surgery. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb; CheckMate 816 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02998528.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 11 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Forde PM, Spicer J, Lu S, Provencio M, ... Girard N, CheckMate 816 Investigators
N Engl J Med: 11 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35403841
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Abstract

Intersectional Analysis of U.S. Medical Faculty Diversity over Four Decades.

Kamran SC, Winkfield KM, Reede JY, Vapiwala N
The 2020 U.S. Census data show a rapidly diversifying U.S. population. We sought to evaluate whether clinical faculty and leadership representation at academic medical schools reflects the diversifying population over time. Using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges for the period of 1977 through 2019, we found notable progress in female representation among clinical faculty, with smaller gains among department chairs and medical school deans. Racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine are designated as such because their presence within the medical profession is disproportionate to the U.S. Census data. Even with accounting for this underrepresentation, clinical faculty and leadership positions show even starker disparities. Thoughtful policy implementation could help address this persistent underrepresentation among medical school faculty and leadership positions.

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1363-1371
Kamran SC, Winkfield KM, Reede JY, Vapiwala N
N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1363-1371 | PMID: 35388674
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Abstract

Oral Tebipenem Pivoxil Hydrobromide in Complicated Urinary Tract Infection.

Eckburg PB, Muir L, Critchley IA, Walpole S, ... Melnick D, Talley AK
Background
There is a need for oral antibiotic agents that are effective against multidrug-resistant gram-negative uropathogens. Tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide is an orally bioavailable carbapenem with activity against uropathogenic Enterobacterales, including extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing and fluoroquinolone-resistant strains.
Methods
In this phase 3, international, double-blind, double-dummy trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of orally administered tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide as compared with intravenous ertapenem in patients with complicated urinary tract infection or acute pyelonephritis. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive oral tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide (at a dose of 600 mg every 8 hours) or intravenous ertapenem (at a dose of 1 g every 24 hours) for 7 to 10 days (or up to 14 days in patients with bacteremia). The primary efficacy end point was overall response (a composite of clinical cure and favorable microbiologic response) at a test-of-cure visit (on day 19, within a ±2-day window) in the microbiologic intention-to-treat population. The noninferiority margin was 12.5%.
Results
A total of 1372 hospitalized adult patients were enrolled; 868 patients (63.3%) were included in the microbiologic intention-to-treat population (50.8% of whom had complicated urinary tract infections and 49.2% of whom had pyelonephritis). An overall response was seen in 264 of 449 patients (58.8%) who received tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide, as compared with 258 of 419 patients (61.6%) who received ertapenem (weighted difference, -3.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -9.7 to 3.2). Clinical cure at the test-of-cure visit was observed in 93.1% of the patients in the microbiologic intention-to-treat population who received tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide and 93.6% of patients who received ertapenem (weighted difference, -0.6 percentage point; 95% CI, -4.0 to 2.8); the majority of patients with microbiologic response failures at the test-of-cure visit were asymptomatic patients with recurrent bacteriuria. Secondary and subgroup analyses were supportive of the primary analysis. Adverse events were observed in 25.7% of patients who received tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide and in 25.6% of patients who received ertapenem; the most common adverse events were mild diarrhea and headache.
Conclusions
Oral tebipenem pivoxil hydrobromide was noninferior to intravenous ertapenem in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infection and acute pyelonephritis and had a similar safety profile. (Funded by Spero Therapeutics and the Department of Health and Human Services; ADAPT-PO ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03788967.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1327-1338
Eckburg PB, Muir L, Critchley IA, Walpole S, ... Melnick D, Talley AK
N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1327-1338 | PMID: 35388666
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Abstract

Implanted System for Orthostatic Hypotension in Multiple-System Atrophy.

Squair JW, Berney M, Castro Jimenez M, Hankov N, ... Courtine G, Bloch J
Orthostatic hypotension is a cardinal feature of multiple-system atrophy. The upright posture provokes syncopal episodes that prevent patients from standing and walking for more than brief periods. We implanted a system to restore regulation of blood pressure and enable a patient with multiple-system atrophy to stand and walk after having lost these abilities because of orthostatic hypotension. This system involved epidural electrical stimulation delivered over the thoracic spinal cord with accelerometers that detected changes in body position. (Funded by the Defitech Foundation.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1339-1344
Squair JW, Berney M, Castro Jimenez M, Hankov N, ... Courtine G, Bloch J
N Engl J Med: 07 Apr 2022; 386:1339-1344 | PMID: 35388667
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Abstract

Protection by a Fourth Dose of BNT162b2 against Omicron in Israel.

Bar-On YM, Goldberg Y, Mandel M, Bodenheimer O, ... Huppert A, Milo R
Background
On January 2, 2022, Israel began administering a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine to persons 60 years of age or older. Data are needed regarding the effect of the fourth dose on rates of confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Methods
Using the Israeli Ministry of Health database, we extracted data on 1,252,331 persons who were 60 years of age or older and eligible for the fourth dose during a period in which the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was predominant (January 10 through March 2, 2022). We estimated the rate of confirmed infection and severe Covid-19 as a function of time starting at 8 days after receipt of a fourth dose (four-dose groups) as compared with that among persons who had received only three doses (three-dose group) and among persons who had received a fourth dose 3 to 7 days earlier (internal control group). For the estimation of rates, we used quasi-Poisson regression with adjustment for age, sex, demographic group, and calendar day.
Results
The number of cases of severe Covid-19 per 100,000 person-days (unadjusted rate) was 1.5 in the aggregated four-dose groups, 3.9 in the three-dose group, and 4.2 in the internal control group. In the quasi-Poisson analysis, the adjusted rate of severe Covid-19 in the fourth week after receipt of the fourth dose was lower than that in the three-dose group by a factor of 3.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.7 to 4.6) and was lower than that in the internal control group by a factor of 2.3 (95% CI, 1.7 to 3.3). Protection against severe illness did not wane during the 6 weeks after receipt of the fourth dose. The number of cases of confirmed infection per 100,000 person-days (unadjusted rate) was 177 in the aggregated four-dose groups, 361 in the three-dose group, and 388 in the internal control group. In the quasi-Poisson analysis, the adjusted rate of confirmed infection in the fourth week after receipt of the fourth dose was lower than that in the three-dose group by a factor of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.9 to 2.1) and was lower than that in the internal control group by a factor of 1.8 (95% CI, 1.7 to 1.9). However, this protection waned in later weeks.
Conclusions
Rates of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe Covid-19 were lower after a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine than after only three doses. Protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived, whereas protection against severe illness did not wane during the study period.

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 05 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Bar-On YM, Goldberg Y, Mandel M, Bodenheimer O, ... Huppert A, Milo R
N Engl J Med: 05 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35381126
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Abstract

Childhood Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Adult Cardiovascular Events.

Jacobs DR, Woo JG, Sinaiko AR, Daniels SR, ... Raitakari OT, Dwyer T
Background
Childhood cardiovascular risk factors predict subclinical adult cardiovascular disease, but links to clinical events are unclear.
Methods
In a prospective cohort study involving participants in the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohorts (i3C) Consortium, we evaluated whether childhood risk factors (at the ages of 3 to 19 years) were associated with cardiovascular events in adulthood after a mean follow-up of 35 years. Body-mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol level, triglyceride level, and youth smoking were analyzed with the use of i3C-derived age- and sex-specific z scores and with a combined-risk z score that was calculated as the unweighted mean of the five risk z scores. An algebraically comparable adult combined-risk z score (before any cardiovascular event) was analyzed jointly with the childhood risk factors. Study outcomes were fatal cardiovascular events and fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events, and analyses were performed after multiple imputation with the use of proportional-hazards regression.
Results
In the analysis of 319 fatal cardiovascular events that occurred among 38,589 participants (49.7% male and 15.0% Black; mean [±SD] age at childhood visits, 11.8±3.1 years), the hazard ratios for a fatal cardiovascular event in adulthood ranged from 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 1.47) per unit increase in the z score for total cholesterol level to 1.61 (95% CI, 1.21 to 2.13) for youth smoking (yes vs. no). The hazard ratio for a fatal cardiovascular event with respect to the combined-risk z score was 2.71 (95% CI, 2.23 to 3.29) per unit increase. The hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals in the analyses of fatal cardiovascular events were similar to those in the analyses of 779 fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events that occurred among 20,656 participants who could be evaluated for this outcome. In the analysis of 115 fatal cardiovascular events that occurred in a subgroup of 13,401 participants (31.0±5.6 years of age at the adult measurement) who had data on adult risk factors, the adjusted hazard ratio with respect to the childhood combined-risk z score was 3.54 (95% CI, 2.57 to 4.87) per unit increase, and the mutually adjusted hazard ratio with respect to the change in the combined-risk z score from childhood to adulthood was 2.88 (95% CI, 2.06 to 4.05) per unit increase. The results were similar in the analysis of 524 fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events.
Conclusions
In this prospective cohort study, childhood risk factors and the change in the combined-risk z score between childhood and adulthood were associated with cardiovascular events in midlife. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 04 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Jacobs DR, Woo JG, Sinaiko AR, Daniels SR, ... Raitakari OT, Dwyer T
N Engl J Med: 04 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35373933
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Abstract

Treatment for Mild Chronic Hypertension during Pregnancy.

Tita AT, Szychowski JM, Boggess K, Dugoff L, ... Andrews WW, Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy (CHAP) Trial Consortium
Background
The benefits and safety of the treatment of mild chronic hypertension (blood pressure, <160/100 mm Hg) during pregnancy are uncertain. Data are needed on whether a strategy of targeting a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg reduces the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes without compromising fetal growth.
Methods
In this open-label, multicenter, randomized trial, we assigned pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension and singleton fetuses at a gestational age of less than 23 weeks to receive antihypertensive medications recommended for use in pregnancy (active-treatment group) or to receive no such treatment unless severe hypertension (systolic pressure, ≥160 mm Hg; or diastolic pressure, ≥105 mm Hg) developed (control group). The primary outcome was a composite of preeclampsia with severe features, medically indicated preterm birth at less than 35 weeks\' gestation, placental abruption, or fetal or neonatal death. The safety outcome was small-for-gestational-age birth weight below the 10th percentile for gestational age. Secondary outcomes included composites of serious neonatal or maternal complications, preeclampsia, and preterm birth.
Results
A total of 2408 women were enrolled in the trial. The incidence of a primary-outcome event was lower in the active-treatment group than in the control group (30.2% vs. 37.0%), for an adjusted risk ratio of 0.82 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 0.92; P<0.001). The percentage of small-for-gestational-age birth weights below the 10th percentile was 11.2% in the active-treatment group and 10.4% in the control group (adjusted risk ratio, 1.04; 0.82 to 1.31; P = 0.76). The incidence of serious maternal complications was 2.1% and 2.8%, respectively (risk ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.26), and the incidence of severe neonatal complications was 2.0% and 2.6% (risk ratio, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.30). The incidence of any preeclampsia in the two groups was 24.4% and 31.1%, respectively (risk ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.89), and the incidence of preterm birth was 27.5% and 31.4% (risk ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.99).
Conclusions
In pregnant women with mild chronic hypertension, a strategy of targeting a blood pressure of less than 140/90 mm Hg was associated with better pregnancy outcomes than a strategy of reserving treatment only for severe hypertension, with no increase in the risk of small-for-gestational-age birth weight. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; CHAP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02299414.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 02 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Tita AT, Szychowski JM, Boggess K, Dugoff L, ... Andrews WW, Chronic Hypertension and Pregnancy (CHAP) Trial Consortium
N Engl J Med: 02 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35363951
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Abstract

Tranexamic Acid in Patients Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery.

Devereaux PJ, Marcucci M, Painter TW, Conen D, ... Leslie K, POISE-3 Investigators
Background
Perioperative bleeding is common in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic drug that may safely decrease such bleeding.
Methods
We conducted a trial involving patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. Patients were randomly assigned to receive tranexamic acid (1-g intravenous bolus) or placebo at the start and end of surgery (reported here) and, with the use of a partial factorial design, a hypotension-avoidance or hypertension-avoidance strategy (not reported here). The primary efficacy outcome was life-threatening bleeding, major bleeding, or bleeding into a critical organ (composite bleeding outcome) at 30 days. The primary safety outcome was myocardial injury after noncardiac surgery, nonhemorrhagic stroke, peripheral arterial thrombosis, or symptomatic proximal venous thromboembolism (composite cardiovascular outcome) at 30 days. To establish the noninferiority of tranexamic acid to placebo for the composite cardiovascular outcome, the upper boundary of the one-sided 97.5% confidence interval for the hazard ratio had to be below 1.125, and the one-sided P value had to be less than 0.025.
Results
A total of 9535 patients underwent randomization. A composite bleeding outcome event occurred in 433 of 4757 patients (9.1%) in the tranexamic acid group and in 561 of 4778 patients (11.7%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.67 to 0.87; absolute difference, -2.6 percentage points; 95% CI, -3.8 to -1.4; two-sided P<0.001 for superiority). A composite cardiovascular outcome event occurred in 649 of 4581 patients (14.2%) in the tranexamic acid group and in 639 of 4601 patients (13.9%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.14; upper boundary of the one-sided 97.5% CI, 1.14; absolute difference, 0.3 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.1 to 1.7; one-sided P = 0.04 for noninferiority).
Conclusions
Among patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, the incidence of the composite bleeding outcome was significantly lower with tranexamic acid than with placebo. Although the between-group difference in the composite cardiovascular outcome was small, the noninferiority of tranexamic acid was not established. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; POISE-3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03505723.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 02 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print
Devereaux PJ, Marcucci M, Painter TW, Conen D, ... Leslie K, POISE-3 Investigators
N Engl J Med: 02 Apr 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35363452
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Impact:
Abstract

Single-Incision Mini-Slings for Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women.

Abdel-Fattah M, Cooper D, Davidson T, Kilonzo M, ... MacLennan G, Norrie J
Background
Until recently, synthetic midurethral slings (made of mesh or tape) were the standard surgical treatment worldwide for female stress urinary incontinence, if conservative management failed. Data comparing the effectiveness and safety of newer single-incision mini-slings with those of standard midurethral slings are limited.
Methods
We performed a pragmatic, noninferiority, randomized trial comparing mini-slings with midurethral slings among women at 21 U.K. hospitals during 36 months of follow-up. The primary outcome was patient-reported success (defined as a response of very much or much improved on the Patient Global Impression of Improvement questionnaire) at 15 months after randomization (approximately 1 year after surgery). The noninferiority margin was 10 percentage points.
Results
A total of 298 women were assigned to receive mini-slings and 298 were assigned to receive midurethral slings. At 15 months, success was reported by 212 of 268 patients (79.1%) in the mini-sling group and by 189 of 250 patients (75.6%) in the midurethral-sling group (adjusted risk difference, 4.6 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -2.7 to 11.8; P<0.001 for noninferiority). At the 36-month follow-up, success was reported by 177 of 246 patients (72.0%) and by 157 of 235 patients (66.8%) in the respective groups (adjusted risk difference, 5.7 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.3 to 12.8). At 36 months, the percentage of patients with groin or thigh pain was 14.1% with mini-slings and 14.9% with midurethral slings. Over the 36-month follow-up period, the percentage of patients with tape or mesh exposure was 3.3% with mini-slings and 1.9% with midurethral slings, and the percentage who underwent further surgery for stress urinary incontinence was 2.5% and 1.1%, respectively. Outcomes with respect to quality of life and sexual function were similar in the two groups, with the exception of dyspareunia; among 290 women responding to a validated questionnaire, dyspareunia was reported by 11.7% in the mini-sling group and 4.8% in the midurethral-sling group.
Conclusions
Single-incision mini-slings were noninferior to standard midurethral slings with respect to patient-reported success at 15 months, and the percentage of patients reporting success remained similar in the two groups at the 36-month follow-up. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 31 Mar 2022; 386:1230-1243
Abdel-Fattah M, Cooper D, Davidson T, Kilonzo M, ... MacLennan G, Norrie J
N Engl J Med: 31 Mar 2022; 386:1230-1243 | PMID: 35353961
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Abstract

Higher-Dose Primaquine to Prevent Relapse of Malaria.

Chamma-Siqueira NN, Negreiros SC, Ballard SB, Farias S, ... Viana GMR, Macedo de Oliveira A
Background
In most of the Americas, the recommended treatment to prevent relapse of Plasmodium vivax malaria is primaquine at a total dose of 3.5 mg per kilogram of body weight, despite evidence of only moderate efficacy.
Methods
In this trial conducted in Brazil, we evaluated three primaquine regimens to prevent relapse of P. vivax malaria in children at least 5 years of age and in adults with microscopy-confirmed P. vivax monoinfection. All the patients received directly observed chloroquine for 3 days (total dose, 25 mg per kilogram). Group 1 received a total primaquine dose of 3.5 mg per kilogram (0.5 mg per kilogram per day) over 7 days with unobserved administration; group 2 received the same regimen as group 1 but with observed administration; and group 3 received a total primaquine dose of 7.0 mg per kilogram over 14 days (also 0.5 mg per kilogram per day) with observed administration. We monitored the patients for 168 days.
Results
We enrolled 63 patients in group 1, 96 in group 2, and 95 in group 3. The median age of the patients was 22.4 years (range, 5.4 to 79.8). By day 28, three P. vivax recurrences were observed: 2 in group 1 and 1 in group 2. By day 168, a total of 70 recurrences had occurred: 24 in group 1, 34 in group 2, and 12 in group 3. No serious adverse events were noted. On day 168, the percentage of patients without recurrence was 58% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44 to 70) in group 1, 59% (95% CI, 47 to 69) in group 2, and 86% (95% CI, 76 to 92) in group 3. Survival analysis showed a difference in the day 168 recurrence-free percentage of 27 percentage points (97.5% CI, 10 to 44; P<0.001) between group 1 and group 3 and a difference of 27 percentage points (97.5% CI, 12 to 42; P<0.001) between group 2 and group 3.
Conclusions
The administration of primaquine at a total dose of 7.0 mg per kilogram had higher efficacy in preventing relapse of P. vivax malaria than a total dose of 3.5 mg per kilogram through day 168. (Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03610399.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 31 Mar 2022; 386:1244-1253
Chamma-Siqueira NN, Negreiros SC, Ballard SB, Farias S, ... Viana GMR, Macedo de Oliveira A
N Engl J Med: 31 Mar 2022; 386:1244-1253 | PMID: 35353962
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Abstract

Early Outpatient Treatment for Covid-19 with Convalescent Plasma.

Sullivan DJ, Gebo KA, Shoham S, Bloch EM, ... Tobian AAR, Hanley DF
Background
Polyclonal convalescent plasma may be obtained from donors who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The efficacy of this plasma in preventing serious complications in outpatients with recent-onset Covid-19 is uncertain.
Methods
In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 convalescent plasma, as compared with control plasma, in symptomatic adults (≥18 years of age) who had tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, regardless of their risk factors for disease progression or vaccination status. Participants were enrolled within 8 days after symptom onset and received a transfusion within 1 day after randomization. The primary outcome was Covid-19-related hospitalization within 28 days after transfusion.
Results
Participants were enrolled from June 3, 2020, through October 1, 2021. A total of 1225 participants underwent randomization, and 1181 received a transfusion. In the prespecified modified intention-to-treat analysis that included only participants who received a transfusion, the primary outcome occurred in 17 of 592 participants (2.9%) who received convalescent plasma and 37 of 589 participants (6.3%) who received control plasma (absolute risk reduction, 3.4 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 5.8; P = 0.005), which corresponded to a relative risk reduction of 54%. Evidence of efficacy in vaccinated participants cannot be inferred from these data because 53 of the 54 participants with Covid-19 who were hospitalized were unvaccinated and 1 participant was partially vaccinated. A total of 16 grade 3 or 4 adverse events (7 in the convalescent-plasma group and 9 in the control-plasma group) occurred in participants who were not hospitalized.
Conclusions
In participants with Covid-19, most of whom were unvaccinated, the administration of convalescent plasma within 9 days after the onset of symptoms reduced the risk of disease progression leading to hospitalization. (Funded by the Department of Defense and others; CSSC-004 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04373460.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Sullivan DJ, Gebo KA, Shoham S, Bloch EM, ... Tobian AAR, Hanley DF
N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35353960
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Abstract

BNT162b2 Protection against the Omicron Variant in Children and Adolescents.

Price AM, Olson SM, Newhams MM, Halasa NB, ... Randolph AG, Overcoming Covid-19 Investigators
Background
Spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant, which led to increased U.S. hospitalizations for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), generated concern about immune evasion and the duration of protection from vaccines in children and adolescents.
Methods
Using a case-control, test-negative design, we assessed vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 leading to hospitalization and against critical Covid-19 (i.e., leading to receipt of life support or to death). From July 1, 2021, to February 17, 2022, we enrolled case patients with Covid-19 and controls without Covid-19 at 31 hospitals in 23 states. We estimated vaccine effectiveness by comparing the odds of antecedent full vaccination (two doses of BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine) at least 14 days before illness among case patients and controls, according to time since vaccination for patients 12 to 18 years of age and in periods coinciding with circulation of B.1.617.2 (delta) (July 1, 2021, to December 18, 2021) and omicron (December 19, 2021, to February 17, 2022) among patients 5 to 11 and 12 to 18 years of age.
Results
We enrolled 1185 case patients (1043 [88%] of whom were unvaccinated, 291 [25%] of whom received life support, and 14 of whom died) and 1627 controls. During the delta-predominant period, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization for Covid-19 among adolescents 12 to 18 years of age was 93% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89 to 95) 2 to 22 weeks after vaccination and was 92% (95% CI, 80 to 97) at 23 to 44 weeks. Among adolescents 12 to 18 years of age (median interval since vaccination, 162 days) during the omicron-predominant period, vaccine effectiveness was 40% (95% CI, 9 to 60) against hospitalization for Covid-19, 79% (95% CI, 51 to 91) against critical Covid-19, and 20% (95% CI, -25 to 49) against noncritical Covid-19. During the omicron period, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization among children 5 to 11 years of age was 68% (95% CI, 42 to 82; median interval since vaccination, 34 days).
Conclusions
BNT162b2 vaccination reduced the risk of omicron-associated hospitalization by two thirds among children 5 to 11 years of age. Although two doses provided lower protection against omicron-associated hospitalization than against delta-associated hospitalization among adolescents 12 to 18 years of age, vaccination prevented critical illness caused by either variant. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Price AM, Olson SM, Newhams MM, Halasa NB, ... Randolph AG, Overcoming Covid-19 Investigators
N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35353976
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Abstract

Effect of Early Treatment with Ivermectin among Patients with Covid-19.

Reis G, Silva EASM, Silva DCM, Thabane L, ... Mills EJ, TOGETHER Investigators
Background
The efficacy of ivermectin in preventing hospitalization or extended observation in an emergency setting among outpatients with acutely symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is unclear.
Methods
We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, adaptive platform trial involving symptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive adults recruited from 12 public health clinics in Brazil. Patients who had had symptoms of Covid-19 for up to 7 days and had at least one risk factor for disease progression were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin (400 μg per kilogram of body weight) once daily for 3 days or placebo. (The trial also involved other interventions that are not reported here.) The primary composite outcome was hospitalization due to Covid-19 within 28 days after randomization or an emergency department visit due to clinical worsening of Covid-19 (defined as the participant remaining under observation for >6 hours) within 28 days after randomization.
Results
A total of 3515 patients were randomly assigned to receive ivermectin (679 patients), placebo (679), or another intervention (2157). Overall, 100 patients (14.7%) in the ivermectin group had a primary-outcome event, as compared with 111 (16.3%) in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.90; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.70 to 1.16). Of the 211 primary-outcome events, 171 (81.0%) were hospital admissions. Findings were similar to the primary analysis in a modified intention-to-treat analysis that included only patients who received at least one dose of ivermectin or placebo (relative risk, 0.89; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.69 to 1.15) and in a per-protocol analysis that included only patients who reported 100% adherence to the assigned regimen (relative risk, 0.94; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.67 to 1.35). There were no significant effects of ivermectin use on secondary outcomes or adverse events.
Conclusions
Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19. (Funded by FastGrants and the Rainwater Charitable Foundation; TOGETHER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04727424.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Reis G, Silva EASM, Silva DCM, Thabane L, ... Mills EJ, TOGETHER Investigators
N Engl J Med: 30 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35353979
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Abstract

Two Phase 3 Trials of Baricitinib for Alopecia Areata.

King B, Ohyama M, Kwon O, Zlotogorski A, ... Sinclair R, BRAVE-AA Investigators
Background
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition characterized by rapid hair loss in the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes, for which treatments are limited. Baricitinib, an oral, selective, reversible inhibitor of Janus kinases 1 and 2, may interrupt cytokine signaling implicated in the pathogenesis of alopecia areata.
Methods
We conducted two randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials (BRAVE-AA1 and BRAVE-AA2) involving adults with severe alopecia areata with a Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score of 50 or higher (range, 0 [no scalp hair loss] to 100 [complete scalp hair loss]). Patients were randomly assigned in a 3:2:2 ratio to receive once-daily baricitinib at a dose of 4 mg, baricitinib at a dose of 2 mg, or placebo. The primary outcome was a SALT score of 20 or less at week 36.
Results
We enrolled 654 patients in the BRAVE-AA1 trial and 546 in the BRAVE-AA2 trial. The estimated percentage of patients with a SALT score of 20 or less at week 36 was 38.8% with 4-mg baricitinib, 22.8% with 2-mg baricitinib, and 6.2% with placebo in BRAVE-AA1 and 35.9%, 19.4%, and 3.3%, respectively, in BRAVE-AA2. In BRAVE-AA1, the difference between 4-mg baricitinib and placebo was 32.6 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.6 to 39.5), and the difference between 2-mg baricitinib and placebo was 16.6 percentage points (95% CI, 9.5 to 23.8) (P<0.001 for each dose vs. placebo). In BRAVE-AA2, the corresponding values were 32.6 percentage points (95% CI, 25.6 to 39.6) and 16.1 percentage points (95% CI, 9.1 to 23.2) (P<0.001 for each dose vs. placebo). Secondary outcomes for baricitinib at a dose of 4 mg but not at a dose of 2 mg generally favored baricitinib over placebo. Acne, elevated levels of creatine kinase, and increased levels of low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were more common with baricitinib than with placebo.
Conclusions
In two phase 3 trials involving patients with severe alopecia areata, oral baricitinib was superior to placebo with respect to hair regrowth at 36 weeks. Longer trials are required to assess the efficacy and safety of baricitinib for alopecia areata. (Funded by Eli Lilly under license from Incyte; BRAVE-AA1 and BRAVE-AA2 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT03570749 and NCT03899259.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 26 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
King B, Ohyama M, Kwon O, Zlotogorski A, ... Sinclair R, BRAVE-AA Investigators
N Engl J Med: 26 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35334197
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Abstract

Safety and Efficacy of a Third Dose of BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine.

Moreira ED, Kitchin N, Xu X, Dychter SS, ... Jansen KU, C4591031 Clinical Trial Group
Background
Active immunization with the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) has been a critical mitigation tool against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. In light of reports of waning protection occurring 6 months after the primary two-dose vaccine series, data are needed on the safety and efficacy of offering a third (booster) dose in persons 16 years of age or older.
Methods
In this ongoing, placebo-controlled, randomized, phase 3 trial, we assigned participants who had received two 30-μg doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine at least 6 months earlier to be injected with a third dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine or with placebo. We assessed vaccine safety and efficacy against Covid-19 starting 7 days after the third dose.
Results
A total of 5081 participants received a third BNT162b2 dose and 5044 received placebo. The median interval between dose 2 and dose 3 was 10.8 months in the vaccine group and 10.7 months in the placebo group; the median follow-up was 2.5 months. Local and systemic reactogenicity events from the third dose were generally of low grade. No new safety signals were identified, and no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported. Among the participants without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection who could be evaluated, Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after dose 3 was observed in 6 participants in the vaccine group and in 123 participants in the placebo group, which corresponded to a relative vaccine efficacy of 95.3% (95% confidence interval, 89.5 to 98.3).
Conclusions
A third dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine administered a median of 10.8 months after the second dose provided 95.3% efficacy against Covid-19 as compared with two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine during a median follow-up of 2.5 months. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; C4591031 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04955626.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Moreira ED, Kitchin N, Xu X, Dychter SS, ... Jansen KU, C4591031 Clinical Trial Group
N Engl J Med: 23 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35320659
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Abstract

Valoctocogene Roxaparvovec Gene Therapy for Hemophilia A.

Ozelo MC, Mahlangu J, Pasi KJ, Giermasz A, ... Kim B, GENEr8-1 Trial Group
Background
Valoctocogene roxaparvovec (AAV5-hFVIII-SQ) is an adeno-associated virus 5 (AAV5)-based gene-therapy vector containing a coagulation factor VIII complementary DNA driven by a liver-selective promoter. The efficacy and safety of the therapy were previously evaluated in men with severe hemophilia A in a phase 1-2 dose-escalation study.
Methods
We conducted an open-label, single-group, multicenter, phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of valoctocogene roxaparvovec in men with severe hemophilia A, defined as a factor VIII level of 1 IU per deciliter or lower. Participants who were at least 18 years of age and did not have preexisting anti-AAV5 antibodies or a history of development of factor VIII inhibitors and who had been receiving prophylaxis with factor VIII concentrate received a single infusion of 6×1013 vector genomes of valoctocogene roxaparvovec per kilogram of body weight. The primary end point was the change from baseline in factor VIII activity (measured with a chromogenic substrate assay) during weeks 49 through 52 after infusion. Secondary end points included the change in annualized factor VIII concentrate use and bleeding rates. Safety was assessed as adverse events and laboratory test results.
Results
Overall, 134 participants received an infusion and completed more than 51 weeks of follow-up. Among the 132 human immunodeficiency virus-negative participants, the mean factor VIII activity level at weeks 49 through 52 had increased by 41.9 IU per deciliter (95% confidence interval [CI], 34.1 to 49.7; P<0.001; median change, 22.9 IU per deciliter; interquartile range, 10.9 to 61.3). Among the 112 participants enrolled from a prospective noninterventional study, the mean annualized rates of factor VIII concentrate use and treated bleeding after week 4 had decreased after infusion by 98.6% and 83.8%, respectively (P<0.001 for both comparisons). All the participants had at least one adverse event; 22 of 134 (16.4%) reported serious adverse events. Elevations in alanine aminotransferase levels occurred in 115 of 134 participants (85.8%) and were managed with immune suppressants. The other most common adverse events were headache (38.1%), nausea (37.3%), and elevations in aspartate aminotransferase levels (35.1%). No development of factor VIII inhibitors or thrombosis occurred in any of the participants.
Conclusions
In patients with severe hemophilia A, valoctocogene roxaparvovec treatment provided endogenous factor VIII production and significantly reduced bleeding and factor VIII concentrate use relative to factor VIII prophylaxis. (Funded by BioMarin Pharmaceutical; GENEr8-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03370913.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1013-1025
Ozelo MC, Mahlangu J, Pasi KJ, Giermasz A, ... Kim B, GENEr8-1 Trial Group
N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1013-1025 | PMID: 35294811
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Abstract

Inhibition of Prekallikrein for Hereditary Angioedema.

Fijen LM, Riedl MA, Bordone L, Bernstein JA, ... Schneider E, Cohn DM
Background
Hereditary angioedema is characterized by recurrent and unpredictable swellings that are disabling and potentially fatal. Selective inhibition of plasma prekallikrein production by antisense oligonucleotide treatment (donidalorsen) may reduce the frequency of attacks and the burden of disease.
Methods
In this phase 2 trial, we randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, patients with hereditary angioedema with C1 inhibitor deficiency to receive four subcutaneous doses of either donidalorsen (80 mg) or placebo, with one dose administered every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the time-normalized number of investigator-confirmed angioedema attacks per month (attack rate) between week 1 (baseline) and week 17. Secondary end points included quality of life, as measured with the Angioedema Quality of Life Questionnaire (scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating worse quality of life), and safety.
Results
A total of 20 patients were enrolled, of whom 14 were randomly assigned to receive donidalorsen and 6 to receive placebo. The mean monthly rate of investigator-confirmed angioedema attacks was 0.23 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08 to 0.39) among patients receiving donidalorsen and 2.21 (95% CI, 0.58 to 3.85) among patients receiving placebo (mean difference, -90%; 95% CI, -96 to -76; P<0.001). The mean change from baseline to week 17 in the Angioedema Quality of Life Questionnaire score was -26.8 points in the donidalorsen group and -6.2 points in the placebo group (mean difference, -20.7 points; 95% CI, -32.7 to -8.7). The incidence of mild-to-moderate adverse events was 71% among patients receiving donidalorsen and 83% among those receiving placebo.
Conclusions
Among patients with hereditary angioedema, donidalorsen treatment resulted in a significantly lower rate of angioedema attacks than placebo in this small, phase 2 trial. (Funded by Ionis Pharmaceuticals; ISIS 721744-CS2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04030598.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1026-1033
Fijen LM, Riedl MA, Bordone L, Bernstein JA, ... Schneider E, Cohn DM
N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1026-1033 | PMID: 35294812
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Abstract

Phase 2 Trial of Iberdomide in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Merrill JT, Werth VP, Furie R, van Vollenhoven R, ... Agafonova N, Delev N
Background
Iberdomide, a cereblon modulator promoting degradation of the transcription factors Ikaros and Aiolos, which affect leukocyte development and autoimmunity, is being evaluated for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods
In this phase 2 trial, we randomly assigned patients in a 2:2:1:2 ratio to receive oral iberdomide (at a dose of 0.45, 0.30, or 0.15 mg) or placebo once daily for 24 weeks, in addition to standard medications. The primary end point at week 24 was a response on the SLE Responder Index (SRI-4), which was defined as a reduction of at least 4 points in the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 score (a 24-item weighted score of lupus activity that ranges from 0 to 105, with higher scores indicating greater disease activity), no new disease activity as measured on the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group 2004 index, and no increase of 0.3 points or more in the Physician\'s Global Assessment score (on a visual-analogue scale ranging from 0 [no disease activity] to 3 [maximal disease]).
Results
A total of 288 patients received the assigned intervention: 81 received iberdomide at a dose of 0.45 mg, 82 received iberdomide at a dose of 0.30 mg, 42 received iberdomide at a dose of 0.15 mg, and 83 received placebo. At week 24, the percentages of patients with an SRI-4 response were 54% in the iberdomide 0.45-mg group, 40% in the iberdomide 0.30-mg group, 48% in the iberdomide 0.15-mg group, and 35% in the placebo group (adjusted difference between the iberdomide 0.45-mg group and the placebo group, 19.4 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 4.1 to 33.4; P = 0.01), with no significant differences between the groups that received the lower doses of iberdomide and the group that received placebo. Iberdomide-associated adverse events included urinary tract and upper respiratory tract infections and neutropenia.
Conclusions
In this 24-week, phase 2 trial involving patients with SLE, iberdomide at a dose of 0.45 mg resulted in a higher percentage of patients with an SRI-4 response than did placebo. Data from larger, longer trials are needed to determine the efficacy and safety of iberdomide in SLE. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03161483; EudraCT number, 2016-004574-17.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1034-1045
Merrill JT, Werth VP, Furie R, van Vollenhoven R, ... Agafonova N, Delev N
N Engl J Med: 16 Mar 2022; 386:1034-1045 | PMID: 35294813
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Abstract

Effect of mRNA Vaccine Boosters against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Infection in Qatar.

Abu-Raddad LJ, Chemaitelly H, Ayoub HH, AlMukdad S, ... Al-Khal A, Bertollini R
Background
Waning of vaccine protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and the emergence of the omicron (or B.1.1.529) variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have led to expedited efforts to scale up booster vaccination. Protection conferred by booster doses of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines in Qatar, as compared with protection conferred by the two-dose primary series, is unclear.
Methods
We conducted two matched retrospective cohort studies to assess the effectiveness of booster vaccination, as compared with that of a two-dose primary series alone, against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and Covid-19-related hospitalization and death during a large wave of omicron infections from December 19, 2021, through January 26, 2022. The association of booster status with infection was estimated with the use of Cox proportional-hazards regression models.
Results
In a population of 2,239,193 persons who had received at least two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine, those who had also received a booster were matched with persons who had not received a booster. Among the BNT162b2-vaccinated persons, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic omicron infection was 2.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3 to 2.5) in the booster cohort and 4.5% (95% CI, 4.3 to 4.6) in the nonbooster cohort after 35 days of follow-up. Booster effectiveness against symptomatic omicron infection, as compared with that of the primary series, was 49.4% (95% CI, 47.1 to 51.6). Booster effectiveness against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death due to omicron infection, as compared with the primary series, was 76.5% (95% CI, 55.9 to 87.5). BNT162b2 booster effectiveness against symptomatic infection with the delta (or B.1.617.2) variant, as compared with the primary series, was 86.1% (95% CI, 67.3 to 94.1). Among the mRNA-1273-vaccinated persons, the cumulative incidence of symptomatic omicron infection was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.9 to 1.2) in the booster cohort and 1.9% (95% CI, 1.8 to 2.1) in the nonbooster cohort after 35 days; booster effectiveness against symptomatic omicron infection, as compared with the primary series, was 47.3% (95% CI, 40.7 to 53.3). Few severe Covid-19 cases were noted in the mRNA-1273-vaccinated cohorts.
Conclusions
The messenger RNA (mRNA) boosters were highly effective against symptomatic delta infection, but they were less effective against symptomatic omicron infection. However, with both variants, mRNA boosters led to strong protection against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and others.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Abu-Raddad LJ, Chemaitelly H, Ayoub HH, AlMukdad S, ... Al-Khal A, Bertollini R
N Engl J Med: 08 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35263534
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Abstract

CT or Invasive Coronary Angiography in Stable Chest Pain.

Maurovich-Horvat P, Bosserdt M, Kofoed KF, Rieckmann N, ... Martus P, Dewey M
Background
In the diagnosis of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), computed tomography (CT) is an accurate, noninvasive alternative to invasive coronary angiography (ICA). However, the comparative effectiveness of CT and ICA in the management of CAD to reduce the frequency of major adverse cardiovascular events is uncertain.
Methods
We conducted a pragmatic, randomized trial comparing CT with ICA as initial diagnostic imaging strategies for guiding the treatment of patients with stable chest pain who had an intermediate pretest probability of obstructive CAD and were referred for ICA at one of 26 European centers. The primary outcome was major adverse cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke) over 3.5 years. Key secondary outcomes were procedure-related complications and angina pectoris.
Results
Among 3561 patients (56.2% of whom were women), follow-up was complete for 3523 (98.9%). Major adverse cardiovascular events occurred in 38 of 1808 patients (2.1%) in the CT group and in 52 of 1753 (3.0%) in the ICA group (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46 to 1.07; P = 0.10). Major procedure-related complications occurred in 9 patients (0.5%) in the CT group and in 33 (1.9%) in the ICA group (hazard ratio, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.55). Angina during the final 4 weeks of follow-up was reported in 8.8% of the patients in the CT group and in 7.5% of those in the ICA group (odds ratio, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.48).
Conclusions
Among patients referred for ICA because of stable chest pain and intermediate pretest probability of CAD, the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events was similar in the CT group and the ICA group. The frequency of major procedure-related complications was lower with an initial CT strategy. (Funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Program and others; DISCHARGE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02400229.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 03 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Maurovich-Horvat P, Bosserdt M, Kofoed KF, Rieckmann N, ... Martus P, Dewey M
N Engl J Med: 03 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35240010
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Abstract

High-Sensitivity Troponin I after Cardiac Surgery and 30-Day Mortality.

Devereaux PJ, Lamy A, Chan MTV, Allard RV, ... Whitlock RP, VISION Cardiac Surgery Investigators
Background
Consensus recommendations regarding the threshold levels of cardiac troponin elevations for the definition of perioperative myocardial infarction and clinically important periprocedural myocardial injury in patients undergoing cardiac surgery range widely (from >10 times to ≥70 times the upper reference limit for the assay). Limited evidence is available to support these recommendations.
Methods
We undertook an international prospective cohort study involving patients 18 years of age or older who underwent cardiac surgery. High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I measurements (upper reference limit, 26 ng per liter) were obtained 3 to 12 hours after surgery and on days 1, 2, and 3 after surgery. We performed Cox analyses using a regression spline that explored the relationship between peak troponin measurements and 30-day mortality, adjusting for scores on the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation II (which estimates the risk of death after cardiac surgery on the basis of 18 variables, including age and sex).
Results
Of 13,862 patients included in the study, 296 (2.1%) died within 30 days after surgery. Among patients who underwent isolated coronary-artery bypass grafting or aortic-valve replacement or repair, the threshold troponin level, measured within 1 day after surgery, that was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio of more than 1.00 for death within 30 days was 5670 ng per liter (95% confidence interval [CI], 1045 to 8260), a level 218 times the upper reference limit. Among patients who underwent other cardiac surgery, the corresponding threshold troponin level was 12,981 ng per liter (95% CI, 2673 to 16,591), a level 499 times the upper reference limit.
Conclusions
The levels of high-sensitivity troponin I after cardiac surgery that were associated with an increased risk of death within 30 days were substantially higher than levels currently recommended to define clinically important periprocedural myocardial injury. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and others; VISION Cardiac Surgery ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01842568.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 02 Mar 2022; 386:827-836
Devereaux PJ, Lamy A, Chan MTV, Allard RV, ... Whitlock RP, VISION Cardiac Surgery Investigators
N Engl J Med: 02 Mar 2022; 386:827-836 | PMID: 35235725
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Abstract

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectiveness against the Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant.

Andrews N, Stowe J, Kirsebom F, Toffa S, ... Ramsay M, Lopez Bernal J
Background
A rapid increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases due to the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in highly vaccinated populations has aroused concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines.
Methods
We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron and delta (B.1.617.2) variants in England. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated after primary immunization with two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca), or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine and after a booster dose of BNT162b2, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or mRNA-1273.
Results
Between November 27, 2021, and January 12, 2022, a total of 886,774 eligible persons infected with the omicron variant, 204,154 eligible persons infected with the delta variant, and 1,572,621 eligible test-negative controls were identified. At all time points investigated and for all combinations of primary course and booster vaccines, vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was higher for the delta variant than for the omicron variant. No effect against the omicron variant was noted from 20 weeks after two ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 doses, whereas vaccine effectiveness after two BNT162b2 doses was 65.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 63.9 to 67.0) at 2 to 4 weeks, dropping to 8.8% (95% CI, 7.0 to 10.5) at 25 or more weeks. Among ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 62.4% (95% CI, 61.8 to 63.0) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before decreasing to 39.6% (95% CI, 38.0 to 41.1) at 10 or more weeks. Among BNT162b2 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 67.2% (95% CI, 66.5 to 67.8) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before declining to 45.7% (95% CI, 44.7 to 46.7) at 10 or more weeks. Vaccine effectiveness after a ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course increased to 70.1% (95% CI, 69.5 to 70.7) at 2 to 4 weeks after an mRNA-1273 booster and decreased to 60.9% (95% CI, 59.7 to 62.1) at 5 to 9 weeks. After a BNT162b2 primary course, the mRNA-1273 booster increased vaccine effectiveness to 73.9% (95% CI, 73.1 to 74.6) at 2 to 4 weeks; vaccine effectiveness fell to 64.4% (95% CI, 62.6 to 66.1) at 5 to 9 weeks.
Conclusions
Primary immunization with two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 vaccine provided limited protection against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron variant. A BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 booster after either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 primary course substantially increased protection, but that protection waned over time. (Funded by the U.K. Health Security Agency.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 01 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print
Andrews N, Stowe J, Kirsebom F, Toffa S, ... Ramsay M, Lopez Bernal J
N Engl J Med: 01 Mar 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35249272
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Abstract

Reliever-Triggered Inhaled Glucocorticoid in Black and Latinx Adults with Asthma.

Israel E, Cardet JC, Carroll JK, Fuhlbrigge AL, ... Baydur A, Pace WD
Background
Black and Latinx patients bear a disproportionate burden of asthma. Efforts to reduce the disproportionate morbidity have been mostly unsuccessful, and guideline recommendations have not been based on studies in these populations.
Methods
In this pragmatic, open-label trial, we randomly assigned Black and Latinx adults with moderate-to-severe asthma to use a patient-activated, reliever-triggered inhaled glucocorticoid strategy (beclomethasone dipropionate, 80 μg) plus usual care (intervention) or to continue usual care. Participants had one instructional visit followed by 15 monthly questionnaires. The primary end point was the annualized rate of severe asthma exacerbations. Secondary end points included monthly asthma control as measured with the Asthma Control Test (ACT; range, 5 [poor] to 25 [complete control]), quality of life as measured with the Asthma Symptom Utility Index (ASUI; range, 0 to 1, with lower scores indicating greater impairment), and participant-reported missed days of work, school, or usual activities. Safety was also assessed.
Results
Of 1201 adults (603 Black and 598 Latinx), 600 were assigned to the intervention group and 601 to the usual-care group. The annualized rate of severe asthma exacerbations was 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61 to 0.78) in the intervention group and 0.82 (95% CI 0.73 to 0.92) in the usual-care group (hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.999; P = 0.048). ACT scores increased by 3.4 points (95% CI 3.1 to 3.6) in the intervention group and by 2.5 points (95% CI, 2.3 to 2.8) in the usual-care group (difference, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.2); ASUI scores increased by 0.12 points (95% CI, 0.11 to 0.13) and 0.08 points (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.09), respectively (difference, 0.04; 95% CI, 0.02 to 0.05). The annualized rate of missed days was 13.4 in the intervention group and 16.8 in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.95). Serious adverse events occurred in 12.2% of the participants, with an even distribution between the groups.
Conclusions
Among Black and Latinx adults with moderate-to-severe asthma, provision of an inhaled glucocorticoid and one-time instruction on its use, added to usual care, led to a lower rate of severe asthma exacerbations. (Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and others; PREPARE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02995733.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 25 Feb 2022; epub ahead of print
Israel E, Cardet JC, Carroll JK, Fuhlbrigge AL, ... Baydur A, Pace WD
N Engl J Med: 25 Feb 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35213105
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Abstract

Treating Rhythmic and Periodic EEG Patterns in Comatose Survivors of Cardiac Arrest.

Ruijter BJ, Keijzer HM, Tjepkema-Cloostermans MC, Blans MJ, ... Hofmeijer J, TELSTAR Investigators
Background
Whether the treatment of rhythmic and periodic electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest improves outcomes is uncertain.
Methods
We conducted an open-label trial of suppressing rhythmic and periodic EEG patterns detected on continuous EEG monitoring in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to a stepwise strategy of antiseizure medications to suppress this activity for at least 48 consecutive hours plus standard care (antiseizure-treatment group) or to standard care alone (control group); standard care included targeted temperature management in both groups. The primary outcome was neurologic outcome according to the score on the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) scale at 3 months, dichotomized as a good outcome (CPC score indicating no, mild, or moderate disability) or a poor outcome (CPC score indicating severe disability, coma, or death). Secondary outcomes were mortality, length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), and duration of mechanical ventilation.
Results
We enrolled 172 patients, with 88 assigned to the antiseizure-treatment group and 84 to the control group. Rhythmic or periodic EEG activity was detected a median of 35 hours after cardiac arrest; 98 of 157 patients (62%) with available data had myoclonus. Complete suppression of rhythmic and periodic EEG activity for 48 consecutive hours occurred in 49 of 88 patients (56%) in the antiseizure-treatment group and in 2 of 83 patients (2%) in the control group. At 3 months, 79 of 88 patients (90%) in the antiseizure-treatment group and 77 of 84 patients (92%) in the control group had a poor outcome (difference, 2 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -7 to 11; P = 0.68). Mortality at 3 months was 80% in the antiseizure-treatment group and 82% in the control group. The mean length of stay in the ICU and mean duration of mechanical ventilation were slightly longer in the antiseizure-treatment group than in the control group.
Conclusions
In comatose survivors of cardiac arrest, the incidence of a poor neurologic outcome at 3 months did not differ significantly between a strategy of suppressing rhythmic and periodic EEG activity with the use of antiseizure medication for at least 48 hours plus standard care and standard care alone. (Funded by the Dutch Epilepsy Foundation; TELSTAR ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02056236.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Feb 2022; 386:724-734
Ruijter BJ, Keijzer HM, Tjepkema-Cloostermans MC, Blans MJ, ... Hofmeijer J, TELSTAR Investigators
N Engl J Med: 23 Feb 2022; 386:724-734 | PMID: 35196426
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Abstract

Mortality from Congenital Zika Syndrome - Nationwide Cohort Study in Brazil.

Paixao ES, Cardim LL, Costa MCN, Brickley EB, ... Barreto ML, Teixeira MG
Background
Prenatal exposure to Zika virus has potential teratogenic effects, with a wide spectrum of clinical presentation referred to as congenital Zika syndrome. Data on survival among children with congenital Zika syndrome are limited.
Methods
In this population-based cohort study, we used linked, routinely collected data in Brazil, from January 2015 through December 2018, to estimate mortality among live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome as compared with those without the syndrome. Kaplan-Meier curves and survival models were assessed with adjustment for confounding and with stratification according to gestational age, birth weight, and status of being small for gestational age.
Results
A total of 11,481,215 live-born children were followed to 36 months of age. The mortality rate was 52.6 deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 47.6 to 58.0) per 1000 person-years among live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome, as compared with 5.6 deaths (95% CI, 5.6 to 5.7) per 1000 person-years among those without the syndrome. The mortality rate ratio among live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome, as compared with those without the syndrome, was 11.3 (95% CI, 10.2 to 12.4). Among infants born before 32 weeks of gestation or with a birth weight of less than 1500 g, the risks of death were similar regardless of congenital Zika syndrome status. Among infants born at term, those with congenital Zika syndrome were 14.3 times (95% CI, 12.4 to 16.4) as likely to die as those without the syndrome (mortality rate, 38.4 vs. 2.7 deaths per 1000 person-years). Among infants with a birth weight of 2500 g or greater, those with congenital Zika syndrome were 12.9 times (95% CI, 10.9 to 15.3) as likely to die as those without the syndrome (mortality rate, 32.6 vs. 2.5 deaths per 1000 person-years). The burden of congenital anomalies, diseases of the nervous system, and infectious diseases as recorded causes of deaths was higher among live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome than among those without the syndrome.
Conclusions
The risk of death was higher among live-born children with congenital Zika syndrome than among those without the syndrome and persisted throughout the first 3 years of life. (Funded by the Ministry of Health of Brazil and others.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 23 Feb 2022; 386:757-767
Paixao ES, Cardim LL, Costa MCN, Brickley EB, ... Barreto ML, Teixeira MG
N Engl J Med: 23 Feb 2022; 386:757-767 | PMID: 35196428
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Abstract

Population Immunity and Covid-19 Severity with Omicron Variant in South Africa.

Madhi SA, Kwatra G, Myers JE, Jassat W, ... Ngorima-Mabhena N, Mutevedzi PC
Background
The B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified on November 25, 2021, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Data regarding the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG in Gauteng before the fourth wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), in which the omicron variant was dominant, are needed.
Methods
We conducted a seroepidemiologic survey from October 22 to December 9, 2021, in Gauteng to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Households included in a previous seroepidemiologic survey (conducted from November 2020 to January 2021) were contacted; to account for changes in the survey population, there was a 10% increase in the households contacted, with the use of the same sampling framework. Dried-blood-spot samples were tested for IgG against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and nucleocapsid protein with the use of quantitative assays. We also evaluated Covid-19 epidemiologic trends in Gauteng, including cases, hospitalizations, recorded deaths, and excess deaths from the start of the pandemic through January 12, 2022.
Results
Samples were obtained from 7010 participants, of whom 1319 (18.8%) had received a Covid-19 vaccine. The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG ranged from 56.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52.6 to 59.7) among children younger than 12 years of age to 79.7% (95% CI, 77.6 to 81.5) among adults older than 50 years of age. Vaccinated participants were more likely to be seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 than unvaccinated participants (93.1% vs. 68.4%). Epidemiologic data showed that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection increased and subsequently declined more rapidly during the fourth wave than it had during the three previous waves. The incidence of infection was decoupled from the incidences of hospitalization, recorded death, and excess death during the fourth wave, as compared with the proportions seen during previous waves.
Conclusions
Widespread underlying SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was observed in Gauteng before the omicron-dominant wave of Covid-19. Epidemiologic data showed a decoupling of hospitalizations and deaths from infections while omicron was circulating. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.).

Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Medical Society.

N Engl J Med: 22 Feb 2022; epub ahead of print
Madhi SA, Kwatra G, Myers JE, Jassat W, ... Ngorima-Mabhena N, Mutevedzi PC
N Engl J Med: 22 Feb 2022; epub ahead of print | PMID: 35196424
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This program is still in alpha version.