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COVID-19 severity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia treated with venetoclax: a single-center observational cohort study.

Annals of Hematology 2024 April 19
Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19. The present study was undertaken to elucidate COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality in CLL patients treated with venetoclax. We present a single-center study of 108 patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma or CLL treated with venetoclax. Primary outcome was 30-day COVID-19 mortality. Secondary outcomes included COVID-19 severity and hospitalization rate. Forty-eight (44%) patients had PCR-verified SARS-COV-2 between March 2020 and January 2023. Thirty-six patients (75%) presented with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 and 12 (25%) with severe/critical disease. The hospitalization rate was 46% with a 30-day mortality rate of only 4% and severe comorbidities as the primary cause of death. COVID-19 severity and mortality were similar before and during the Omicron era. High CIRS-scores (P < 0.02) and thrombocytopenia (P < 0.01) were more frequent in patients with severe/critical disease. In real-world data, most venetoclax treated patients presented with mild COVID-19. Hospitalization and mortality rates were low compared to data of general CLL populations. Our data indicate that venetoclax was a safe treatment option for CLL patients during the pandemic.

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