Low hospitalization rate without severe arrhythmias: a prospective survey on 350 patients early home treated with hydroxychloroquine during COVID-19 pandemic
Capucci et al.
, Low hospitalization rate without severe arrhythmias: a prospective survey on 350 patients early home treated..
, J. Cardiovasc. Med. 21, 922–923, doi:10.2459/JCM.0000000000001061
Prospective analysis of early treatment of 350 patients in Italy (without waiting for PCR results), showing low hospitalization rates and no serious adverse events.
From 274 patients treated with HCQ, 16 required hospitalization (5.8%). Minor complications (mainly gastrointestinal, diarrhoea) were found in eight patients (2.9%), none of whom had to interrupt treatment. No major cardiac complications were found.
Of the 76 patients treated with HCQ+AZ, 4 were hospitalized (5.2%). Minor complications occurred in two patients (2.6%). There were no reports of any major arrhythmias, syncope or sudden death.
Capucci et al., 17 Jun 2020, peer-reviewed, 7 authors.
Abstract: Research letter
Low hospitalization rate without severe arrhythmias:
a prospective survey on 350 patients early home treated with
hydroxychloroquine during COVID-19 pandemic
Alessandro Capuccia, Andrea Santarellib, Melchiside Bartolomeic,
Corrado Paolizzic, Carlo Biagettid, Antonella Dappozzoc
and Giancarlo Piovaccarib
J Cardiovasc Med 2020, 21:922–923
Specialization School of Cardiology, Università Politecnica delle Marche,
Ancona, bCardiovascular Department, cPrimary Care Department and dInfectious
Disease Unit of Rimini, AUSL Romagna, Rimini, Italy
Correspondence to Andrea Santarelli, MD, Cardiovascular Department, AUSL
Romagna, Rimini, Italy
Received 9 May 2020 Revised 8 June 2020
Accepted 17 June 2020
To the Editor
Hydroxychloroquine (HCL) alone or/and azithromycin
has been shown to be effective to avoid further unfavourable clinical evolutions in coronarovirus disease-2019
(COVID-19) diseased patients particularly when administered early at home.1 The rationale is to block the
inflammatory process development that is the main cause
of serious coronavirus body damage through an antiphospholipid antibodies reduction.2
General practitioners (GP) in Rimini, an Italian country
with more than 2000 COVID-19 cases and over 500
hospitalizations, were invited prospectively by the Primary
Care Department to treat all patients with a framework of
recent fever more than 37.58 and at least two of the
following: symptoms of cooling, cough, anosmia, tachipnea
(>22/min), marked asthenia together with high resting
heart rate (>90/min) with HCL therapy at home (400 mg
twice a day on the 1st and 200 mg twice a day from 2nd to
6th days). Therapy was started without waiting for nasopharyngeal swab results. GPs, according to clinical judgement, were allowed to add azithromycin 500 mg/day.
After 1 month (April 2020) there was a GP call to assess
their protocol adherence and to respond to the survey
questions; 110 doctors (about 130 000 assisted patients)
actively participated. Questions asked were about the
number of treated patients, those subsequently hospitalized and the type and number of adverse events. Any
evidence of specific cardiovascular complications, in particular severe arrhythmias and/or possible related
symptoms, was also requested. Sixty-five doctors completed the survey.
1558-2027 ß 2020 Italian Federation of Cardiology - I.F.C. All rights reserved.
Fifty-eight GPs treated 350 patients with HCL at the first
flu symptoms; in 76 of those azithromycin was also associated. Of the 274 patients treated with HCL only, 16
patients required subsequent hospitalization (5.8%).
Minor complications (mainly gastrointestinal, diarrhoea)
were found in eight patients (2.9%), none of whom had to
interrupt treatment. No major cardiac complications were
found. Of the 76 patients treated with the association, 4
patients were hospitalized (5.2%). Minor complications
occurred in only two patients (2.6%) (Fig. 1). There were
no reports of any major arrhythmias, syncope or sudden
The current small observational study of real flu affected
patients in this area of high epidemic coronavirus outbreak, despite the study limitations, has shown that early,
short duration HCL administration alone or/and azithromycin at home was safe and accompanied..
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