Emergence of SARS CoV-2 causing COVID-19 provoked the need to gather information on the overall outcomes and potential risks associated with morbidity and mortality in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with COVID-19 infections. The COViMS registry was initiated as a rapid and efficient means to collect this data from North American health care providers.
To describe the spectrum of outcomes in SARS CoV-2 infected North American MS patients and to ascertain characteristics associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes.
The COViMS registry requested that MS, neuromyelitis optica (NMO), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD), and radiographically isolated syndrome (RIS) patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection be reported after the outcome was reasonably certain. Data were de-identified and cross-sectional. Effort was made to harmonize with other international registries for COVID-19. Poor clinical outcomes assessed were: mortality, mortality and/or admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), and mortality, ICU admission and/or hospitalization. Associations between patient characteristics and these outcomes were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Covariates included sex, age, race, smoking, MS clinical course (relapsing, progressive), MS disease duration, ambulation (fully ambulatory, walks with assistance, non-ambulatory), individual comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, morbid obesity), and disease modifying therapy (DMT) use.
As of Aug 3, 2020, 764 patients from over 140 different practices were reported; 734 MS, 21 NMO, 4 MOGAD, and 5 RIS. MS patients were 73.4% female (73.4%), 65.2% Caucasian, with mean (SD) age of 48.2 (±13.5) years. Mean disease duration was 13.8 (±9.9) years. 70.9% were fully ambulatory. Ocrelizumab and dimethyl fumarate (DMF) were the top two DMTs used. Most (77.1%) were laboratory confirmed for SARS-CoV-2. Of MS cases, 6.1% died, 13.8% were admitted to the ICU and/or died, and 31.2% were either hospitalized, admitted to the ICU or died. Older age, non-ambulatory status and cardiovascular disease were associated with increased risk of poor outcomes. No specific DMT was associated with increased odds of mortality and mortality and/or ICU admission. Anti-CD20 DMT use showed an increased odds of mortality, ICU admission and/or hospitalization compared to DMF (OR: 2.53 95%CI [1.17, 5.50]).
The data provide reassurance that the MS registry population aligns with reported COVID-19 outcomes in the general North American population. While reported deaths are few, no clear association between a specific therapy and mortality has been seen after adjustment for age, sex, ambulatory status and comorbidities. Data collection continues.