Prolonged COVID-19 Common Among Patients With Lymphoma
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Patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are at high risk of developing prolonged COVID-19. In a new study, nearly a third of more than 100 patients developed disease of longer course and were at increased risk for death.

In this study all adult patients with lymphoma who were admitted for Covid-19 in March and April 2020 were included. Persistent Covid-19 was defined as persisting severe Covid-19 symptoms requiring in-hospital stay for more than 30 days. Patients who re-experienced severe Covid-19 symptoms after initial improvement, requiring repeated hospitalizations for a total in-hospital length of stay more than 30 days were added to the persistent Covid-19 cases.

One hundred eleven patients were included. Thirty days after admission for Covid-19, 24 patients had died, 55 had been definitively discharged from hospital, 31 were still hospitalized and 1 was later rehospitalized for Covid-19 recurrence.

The incidence of persistent Covid-19 was 32/111. Twenty-two patients had at least one significant comorbidity. None of the patients with T-cell (n=8) lymphoma or classical Hodgkin’s disease (n=8) experienced persistent Covid-19.

In the 32 patients with persistent Covid-19, the median time between first admission and final discharge was 58 days and the median duration of Covid-19 symptoms was 83 days. Eight patients received corticosteroids and 9 convalescent plasma: all patients recovered from their symptoms, except one. Overall, 9 patients with persistent Covid-19 died (27%).

The Covid-19 study found that the 6-month overall survival was 69% for the whole cohort. Administration of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody within 12 months before admission to hospital for Covid 19 was both associated with decreased overall survival and prolonged in-hospital stay. The two other significant factors associated with decrease overall survival were age over 70 years and refractory or relapsed lymphoma.


Covid-19 patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma have a high incidence of prolonged evolution of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Administration of anti-CD20 therapy within the last 12 months is one of the main risk factors for longer in-hospital stay and death study found. The risk of persistent Covid 19 was also higher in patients older than 70 years or with refractory or relapsed disease.

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