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Interleukin-6 Receptor Antibodies for Modulating the Systemic Inflammatory Response after Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (IMICA): study protocol for a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, single-center, randomized clinical trial

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BACKGROUND: Resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients who remain comatose at admission are at high risk of morbidity and mortality. This has been attributed to the post-cardiac arrest syndrome (PCAS) which encompasses multiple interacting components, including systemic inflammation. Elevated levels of circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, is associated with worse outcomes in OHCA patients, including higher vasopressor requirements and higher mortality rates. In this study, we aim to reduce systemic inflammation after OHCA by administering a single infusion of tocilizumab, an IL-6 receptor antibody approved for use for other indications.

METHODS: Investigator-initiated, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, single-center, randomized clinical trial in comatose OHCA patients admitted to an intensive cardiac care unit. Brief inclusion criteria: OHCA of presumed cardiac cause, persistent unconsciousness, age ≥ 18 years.

INTERVENTION: 80 patients will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to a single 1-h intravenous infusion of either tocilizumab or placebo (NaCl). During the study period, patients will receive standard of care, including sedation and targeted temperature management of 36 ° for at least 24 h, vasopressors and/or inotropes as/if needed, prophylactic antibiotics, and any additional treatment at the discretion of the treating physician. Blood samples are drawn for measurements of biomarkers included in the primary and secondary endpoints during the initial 72 h. Primary endpoint: reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP). Secondary endpoints (abbreviated): cytokine levels, markers of brain, cardiac, kidney and liver damage, hemodynamic and hemostatic function, adverse events, and follow-up assessment of cerebral function and mortality.

DISCUSSION: We hypothesize that reducing the effect of circulating IL-6 by administering an IL-6 receptor antibody will mitigate the systemic inflammatory response and thereby modify the severity of PCAS, in turn leading to lessened vasopressor use, more normal hemodynamics, and better organ function. This will be assessed by primarily focusing on hemodynamics and biomarkers of organ damage during the initial 72 h. In addition, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines will be measured to assess if cytokine patterns are modulated by IL-6 receptor blockage.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT03863015 ; submitted February 22, 2019, first posted March 5, 2019. EudraCT: 2018-002686-19; date study was authorized to proceed: November 7, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number868
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)868
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Hemodynamics, Interleukin-6, Organ damage, Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, Post-cardiac arrest syndrome, Randomized controlled trial, Systemic inflammation, Tocilizumab

ID: 61665631