OBJECTIVES: Effective treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are urgently needed. We hypothesized that colchicine, by counteracting proinflammatory pathways implicated in the uncontrolled inflammatory response of COVID-19 patients, reduces pulmonary complications, and improves survival.METHODS: This retrospective study included 71 consecutive COVID-19 patients (hospitalized with pneumonia on CT scan or outpatients) who received colchicine and compared with 70 control patients who did not receive colchicine in two serial time periods at the same institution. We used inverse probability of treatment propensity-score weighting to examine differences in mortality, clinical improvement (using a 7-point ordinary scale), and inflammatory markers between the two groups.RESULTS: Amongst the 141 COVID-19 patients (118 [83.7%] hospitalized), 70 (50%) received colchicine. The 21-day crude cumulative mortality was 7.5% in the colchicine group and 28.5% in the control group (P = 0.006; adjusted hazard ratio: 0.24 [95%CI: 0.09 to 0.67]); 21-day clinical improvement occurred in 40.0% of the patients on colchicine and in 26.6% of control patients (adjusted relative improvement rate: 1.80 [95%CI: 1.00 to 3.22]). The strong association between the use of colchicine and reduced mortality was further supported by the diverging linear trends of percent daily change in lymphocyte count (P = 0.018), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (P = 0.003), and in C-reactive protein levels (P = 0.009). Colchicine was stopped because of transient side effects (diarrhea or skin rashes) in 7% of patients.CONCLUSION: In this retrospective cohort study colchicine was associated with reduced mortality and accelerated recovery in COVID-19 patients. This support the rationale for current larger randomized controlled trials testing the safety/efficacy profile of colchicine in COVID-19 patients.
Reduced mortality in COVID-19 patients treated with colchicine: Results from a retrospective, observational study / Manenti, Lucio; Maggiore, Umberto; Fiaccadori, Enrico; Meschi, Tiziana; Antoni, Anna Degli; Nouvenne, Antonio; Ticinesi, Andrea; Cerundolo, Nicoletta; Prati, Beatrice; Delsante, Marco; Gandoflini, Ilaria; Donghi, Lorenzo; Gentile, Micaela; Farina, Maria Teresa; Oliva, Vincenzo; Zambrano, Cristina; Regolisti, Giuseppe; Palmisano, Alessandra; Caminiti, Caterina; Cocchi, Enrico; Ferrari, Carlo; Riella, Leonardo V; Cravedi, Paolo; Peruzzi, Licia. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 16:3(2021). [10.1371/journal.pone.0248276]