Background: Several therapeutic agents have been investigated for treatment of novel coronavirus 2019 (nCOV-2019). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of various treatment modalities in nCOV-2019 patients.
Methods: A literature search was conducted before 29 June 2020 in PubMed, Google Scholar and Cochrane library databases. A fixed-effect model was applied if I2 < 50%, else results were combined using random-effect model. Risk ratio (RR) or standardized mean difference (SMD) along with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was used to pool the results. Between-study heterogeneity was explored using influence and sensitivity analyses, and publication bias was assessed using funnel plots. Entire statistical analysis was conducted in R version 3.6.2.
Results: Fifty studies involving 15 in vitro and 35 clinical studies including 9170 nCOV-2019 patients were included. Lopinavir-ritonavir was significantly associated with shorter mean time to clinical recovery (SMD -0.32; 95% CI -0.57 to -0.06), remdesivir was significantly associated with better overall clinical recovery (RR 1.17; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.29), and tocilizumab was associated with less all-cause mortality (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.93). Hydroxychloroquine was associated with longer time to clinical recovery and less overall clinical recovery. It additionally had higher all-cause mortality and more total adverse events.
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis suggests that except in vitro studies, no treatment has shown overall favourable outcomes in nCOV-2019 patients. Lopinavir-ritonavir, remdesivir and tocilizumab may have some benefits, while hydroxychloroquine administration may cause harm in nCOV-2019 patients. Results from upcoming large clinical trials may further clarify role of these drugs.
Keywords: humans; interventions; nCOV-2019; novel coronavirus 2019; treatments.
© 2020 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.