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Assessment and management of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection: A systematic review


Abstract

BACKGROUND

COVID-19 can be asymptomatic in a substantial proportion of patients. The assessment and management of these patients constitute a key element to stop dissemination.

AIM

To describe the assessment and treatment of asymptomatic infection in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

METHODS

We searched five databases and search engines for preprints/preproofs, up to August 22, 2020. We included cohort, cross-sectional, and case series studies, reporting the assessment and management of asymptomatic individuals. We extracted data on total discharges with negative PCR, length of hospitalization, treatment, and number of patients who remained asymptomatic. A random-effects model with inverse variance method was used to calculate the pooled prevalence.

RESULTS

41 studies (nine cross-sectional studies, five retrospective studies and 27 reports/case series; 647 asymptomatic individuals), were included, of which 47% were male (233/501). The age of patients was between 1month and 73 years. In patients who became symptomatic, length of hospitalization mean was 13.6 days (SD 6.4). Studies used lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine plus ritonavir/lopinavir, hydroxychloroquine with and without azithromycin, ribavirin plus interferon and interferon alfa. The proportion of individuals who remained asymptomatic was 91% (463/588 patients; 95%CI: 78.3%-98.7%); and asymptomatic individuals discharged with negative PCR was 86% (102/124 individuals; 95%CI: 58.4%-100%).

CONCLUSIONS

There is no standard treatment for asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals. There are no studies of adequate design to make this decision. It has been shown that most asymptomatic individuals who were followed have recovered, but this cannot be attributed to standard treatment.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

COVID-19 can be asymptomatic in a substantial proportion of patients. The assessment and management of these patients constitute a key element to stop dissemination.

AIM

To describe the assessment and treatment of asymptomatic infection in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

METHODS

We searched five databases and search engines for preprints/preproofs, up to August 22, 2020. We included cohort, cross-sectional, and case series studies, reporting the assessment and management of asymptomatic individuals. We extracted data on total discharges with negative PCR, length of hospitalization, treatment, and number of patients who remained asymptomatic. A random-effects model with inverse variance method was used to calculate the pooled prevalence.

RESULTS

41 studies (nine cross-sectional studies, five retrospective studies and 27 reports/case series; 647 asymptomatic individuals), were included, of which 47% were male (233/501). The age of patients was between 1month and 73 years. In patients who became symptomatic, length of hospitalization mean was 13.6 days (SD 6.4). Studies used lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine plus ritonavir/lopinavir, hydroxychloroquine with and without azithromycin, ribavirin plus interferon and interferon alfa. The proportion of individuals who remained asymptomatic was 91% (463/588 patients; 95%CI: 78.3%-98.7%); and asymptomatic individuals discharged with negative PCR was 86% (102/124 individuals; 95%CI: 58.4%-100%).

CONCLUSIONS

There is no standard treatment for asymptomatic COVID-19 individuals. There are no studies of adequate design to make this decision. It has been shown that most asymptomatic individuals who were followed have recovered, but this cannot be attributed to standard treatment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:May 2021
Deposited On:28 Jan 2022 17:13
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:51
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1477-8939
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102058
PubMed ID:33838319