Small RCT comparing HCQ and CQ in China with 88 very late stage (17.6 days from onset to hospitalization and ~10 days to randomization) patients. The primary clinical outcomes (TTCR and TTCI) were not significantly different. Authors note that HCQ may have more promising efficacy in immune system modulation, indicated by ferritin reduction in the moderate cases and improvement of CT scores and lymphocyte counts in the severe cases. HCQ and CQ were well tolerated.
Authors also compare RCT patients to a matched sample of non-RCT patients in the same hospital, showing shorter time to discharge with CQ/HCQ, but not statistically significant due to the small size.
Li et al., 1/18/2021, retrospective, China, Asia, peer-reviewed, 21 authors.
risk of no hospital discharge, 50.0% lower, RR 0.50, p = 0.08, treatment 14, control 14, RCT patients vs. matched sample of non-treated patients.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules
prioritizing more serious outcomes. For an individual study the most serious
outcome may have a smaller number of events and lower statistical signficance,
however this provides the strongest evidence for the most serious outcomes
when combining the results of many trials.