Background There is an urgent need for an effective treatment to cure patients with COVID-19 and reduce the duration of viral shedding.
Methods We conducted a retrospective study using data from the electronic medical records of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who were hospitalized in the E1-4 intensive care center of Guanggu Hospital, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, from February 11, 2020, to March 23, 2020. According to the diagnostic results, the hospitalized patients were divided into the experimental group treated with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or chloroquine (CQ) and the control group only treated with conventional therapy without HCQ or CQ. The main outcome was the clearance rate of SARS-CoV-2.
Results A total of 37 patients were evaluated. Eighteen patients were assigned to the HCQ or CQ group, and 19 were assigned to the routine treatment group. Treatment with HCQ or CQ was not associated with a difference from routine treatment in the viral shedding duration (median, 14 days vs. 10 days; hazard ratio for viral shedding, 0.393; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.151 to 1.022; P=0.056). No significant difference in the viral shedding rate was observed between the groups at any time point (7 days, 14 days, 21 days, 28 days and the end point).
Conclusion Although this is a retrospective analysis, the results suggest that treatment with HCQ or CQ had no impact on the duration of viral shedding.