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Actuality One of the most widely discussed treatments for patients with COVID-19, especially at the beginning of the epidemy, was the use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The first small non-randomized trials showed the ability of HCQ and its combination with azithromycin to accelerate the elimination of the virus and ease the acute phase of the disease. Later, large, randomized trials did not confirm it (RECOVERY, SOLIDARITY). This study is a case-control study in which we compared patients who received and did not receive HCQ.Material and Methods 103 patients (25 in the HCQ treatment group and 78 in the control group) with confirmed COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA was detected in 26 of 73 in the control group (35.6%) and in 10 of 25 (40%) in the HCQ group) and in the rest - a typical picture of viral pneumonia on multislice computed tomography [MSCT]) were included in the analysis. The severity of lung damage was limited to stages I-II, the CRP level should not exceed 60 mg/dL, and oxygen saturation in the air within 92-98%. We planned to analysis the duration of treatment of patients in the hospital, the days until the normalization of body temperature, the number of points according to the original SHOCS-COVID integral scale, and changes in its components (C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, and the percentage of lung damage according to MSCT).Results Analysis for the whole group revealed a statistically significant increase in the time to normalization of body temperature from 4 to 7 days (by 3 days, p<0.001), and the duration of hospitalization from 9.4 to 11.8 days (by 2.4 days, p=0.002) when using HCQ in comparison with control. Given the incomplete balance of the groups, the main analysis included 46 patients who were matched by propensity score matching. The trend towards similar dynamics continued. HCQ treatment slowed down the time to normalization of body temperature by 1.8 days (p=0.074) and lengthened the hospitalization time by 2.1 days (p=0.042). The decrease in scores on the SHOCS -COVID scale was statistically significant in both groups, and there were no differences between them (delta - 3.00 (2.90) in the HCQ group and - 2.69 (1.55) in control, p=0.718). At the same time, in the control group, the CRP level returned to normal (4.06 mg/dl), and with the use of GC, it decreased but remained above the norm (6.21 mg/dl, p=0.05). Side effects requiring discontinuation of treatment were reported in 3 patients in the HCQ group and none in the control group.Conclusion We have not identified any positive properties of HCQ and its ability to influence the severity of COVID-19. This antimalarial agent slows down the normalization of the body's inflammatory response and lengthens the time spent in the hospital. HCQ should not be used in the treatment of COVID-19.


A A Kamalov, V Yu Mareev, Ya A Orlova, A G Plisyk, Z A Akopyan, Yu V Mareev, E A Mershina, Yu L Begrambekova, P V Pakhomov. Hydroxychloroquine in patients with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19): a case-control study. Kardiologiia. 2021 Mar 02;61(2):28-39

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PMID: 33734044

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