Subject Area

Physical Medicine, Rheumatology, and Rehabilitation

Article Type

Original Study


Background: Rheumatologic disorders have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The potential role of immunosuppressive drugs in the presentation, severity and even management of COVID-19 is still questionable. The aim of this work was to study the effect of immunosuppressive drugs on outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with rheumatic diseases. 109 rheumatic patients (37 pediatrics and 72 adults) taking immunosuppressive treatment with confirmed COVID-19 infection were included in this study. Clinical, laboratory, radiological findings and outcome of these patients were retrospectively retrieved from hospital medical records. Results: The majority of adult cases were rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), while juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) represented the majority of pediatric cases. There were 13 deaths (18.1%) among adults. While, no recorded deaths among the pediatrics. There was significant correlation between the use of steroids, biologics and radiological findings among adults. Also, there was significant correlation between the need for oxygenation with the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and steroids. Conclusion: The impact of the use of immunosuppressive therapies during the COVID- 19 pandemic is variable depending on the type of drug and associated comorbidities. The decision whether to use these drugs or not must be tailored for each patient.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.