Treatment Response to Hydroxychloroquine and Antibiotics for mild to moderate COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study from South Korea

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Publication
Title
Authors
  • Min Ho An
  • Min Seo Kim
  • Yukyung park
  • ...
  • Tae-Ho Hwang
Journal MedRxiv Preprint
Date July 4, 2020

Retrospective analysis in South Korea of hydroxychloroquine treatment of 226 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 31 received treatment with hydroxychloroquine plus antibiotics.

There were notable differences in the two treatment groups whereby patients who received hydroxychloroquine and antibiotics had worse baseline clinical profiles (higher average body temperature, increased age and other indicators of a poor prognosis including LDH, lymphocyte count and CRP) compared to patients who received standard therapy.

After propensity score matching, there was no significant difference in time to viral clearance, length of hospital stay or duration of symptoms.

Of note, after propensity score matching to remove confounding variables, there were only 20 patients left in each group.

Major Issues

As no patients included in this analysis died or were transferred to the ICU, little can be learned about the effects of hydroxychloroquine plus antibiotics on mortality or progression to severe illness.

Although not addressed in the study, duration of symptoms trended toward a decrease for patients who received hydroxychloroquine over standard therapy after propensity score matching (14.55 vs 18.95, p=0.07).

After propensity score matching, only 40 patients remained in the analysis. Multiple publications caution on the chance of imbalances when using propensity score matching, especially in small studies.

Minor Issues

No minor issues identified at this time.

Impact

Albeit a small study, it was one of the first retrospective analyses evaluating hydroxychloroquine efficacy in COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate disease.

Article Revisions

None at this time.

References