Use of Hydroxychloroquine in Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Observational Study

OBJECTIVE: There is no consensus on a certain drug therapy for COVID-19 infection. Growing reports argue about the potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in reducing morbidity and mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, but with inconsistent results.This study aimed to assess the potential benefits of HCQ on viral conversion, reducing the need for ICU or mechanical ventilation, and its impact on mortality.MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective observational study was conducted enrolling confirmed SARS-CoV2 patients. They were subjected to plain CXR (HRCT of chest if needed), routine laboratory tests for COVID-19 (including CBC, CRP, LDH, D-Dimer, ferritin, and blood sugar), ECG, and blood gases. They were allocated to either HCQ or non-HCQ groups. Both groups were followed-up for symptoms resolution, need for ICU admission, non-invasive or invasive ventilation, duration till conversion, and mortality.RESULTS: A total of 202 patients with moderate COVID-19 were enrolled with a mean age of 55.05±10.15, out of whom 80% were male patients. The most common presenting symptom was fever (87.38% in the control group versus 92% in the HCQ group), followed by cough (82.52% versus 89.9%). In total, 24.27% of patients in the control group versus 28.3% in the HCQ group deteriorated and necessitated ICU admission (p=0.52), 13.6% of the control group versus 19.2% in the HCQ group required mechanical ventilation (p=0.28), and 69.9% of the control group versus 68.9% in the HCQ group converted negative on day 7 (p=0.85). No significant mortality difference between both groups was observed (4.9% versus 6.1%, p=0.47).CONCLUSION: This work did not support any benefits of using HCQ in patients with COVID-19, neither in reducing the need for ICU, mechanical ventilation, nor mortality

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