Characteristics, Treatment Outcomes and Role of Hydroxychloroquine among 522 COVID-19 hospitalized patients in Jaipur City: An Epidemio-Clinical Study

Link to article at PubMed

Bhandari S, et al. J Assoc Physicians India 2020.


PURPOSE: The present study was undertaken to investigate epidemiological distribution, clinical manifestation, co morbid status, treatment strategy and case fatality index of emerging COVID-19 infection at SMS Medical College Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan. It also evaluated efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treatment of patients and risk of serious adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19 in relation to their co morbid status.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In an attempt to provide extensive information pertaining to epidemiological and clinical characteristics of COVID-19, the present study was undertaken on 522 patients. The patients were COVID-19 confirmed positive by genomic analysis through Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) at SMS Medical College and Attached Hospitals, Jaipur. The indoor admitted patient's information inclusive of demographic profile (age, sex, nationality, residence), date of confirmation for positive COVID-19 case, travel/ exposure history, date of recovery/ death, clinical features, co morbidities and treatment plan was recorded. A serial follow-up of recovered patients to evaluate infective period of the disease was also part of the study.

RESULTS: A total of 522 patients of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 test by RT-PCR at SMS Hospitals, Jaipur were assessed. Among the confirmed cases, most of patients were young adult in the age group with mean age of 35.42 years. 22.41% patients were below 20 years of age, majority of patients (58.80%) were in the age range of 21 to 50 years and only 18.79% patient population was in the age range of above 50 years. Females (39.08%) were affected less than males (60.91%) with an average sex ratio of female: male being 0.64. Out of the total analyzed patients, only 24.32% patients were symptomatic, among them fever (55.90%), cough (52.75%), sore throat (49.60%) and shortness of breath (46.45%) were the most common presenting clinical manifestations while a few patients also had symptoms of headache (26.77%), chest pain (6.29%) and other symptoms (7.87%) like pain abdomen, fatigue, joints pain, altered sensorium etc. Most of symptomatic patients belonging to older age group. An average of 40.40% patient population of above 50 years of age, were symptomatic while none of the patients below 10 years of age were symptomatic. 13.98% patients had some or the other underlying co morbid disease. The most prevalent co morbidity was hypertension (42.46%) followed by Diabetes mellitus (39.72%), Old k-chest (20.54%), COPD/ Bronchial Asthma (16.43%), Coronary artery disease (13.69%), Chronic kidney disease (13.69%) and Valvular heart disease (6.84%) distributed in co morbid patients of COVID-19. 60.27% of patient population with underlying co morbid conditions were more prone to develop symptomatology complex as compared to that observed in patients with no co morbidity (18.42%). 116 patients had recovered with effective treatment till the date of data analysis. Time of recovery was counted from the date of positive report to 1st negative report of oropharyngeal sample by RT-PCR for COVID-19 with an average recovery time of 8.15 days. 23.27% patients recovered within 5 days, while 52.58% patients took about 6-10 days, 23.27% patients took 11-15 days and remaining 0.86% took more than 16 days to recover. In the present study 15 patients had died till analysis of data, among the deceased, 73.33% were above 50 year of age with a male preponderance (66.6%). Interestingly, all deceased (100%) had presented with clinical manifestations of COVID-19 and all had underlying multiple co morbid conditions. Majority of patients had early mortality after admission to hospital with two third death account in initial three days. Asymptomatic patients (cases) treated with HCQ recovered early (average recovery time =5.4 days) compared to asymptomatic patients who did not receive any treatment (control group) and had longer recovery time (average recovery time =7.6 days).

CONCLUSION: The varied spectra of COVID-19 mostly affects young adult age group (third to fifth decades of life). Interestingly, early age group was also affected in significant proportion when compared with similar data from other countries. It was observed that male population seemed to be was more prone to getting infected. Majority of COVID-19 positive patients (nearly three-fourth) were asymptomatic (mostly in young age range) at the time of diagnosis, which poses a major challenge for health care workers. Fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath were major symptoms that could be detected in such COVID-19 patients. Symptomatic clinical manifestations were more common in old age population. Infectivity was higher in patients that had underlying co morbid disease, especially in patients with multiple co morbid conditions. Symptomatic presentation of COVID-19 was observed to be higher in patients with co morbid disease. Average recovery time from COVID-19 was 8 days with effective treatment. Mortality in COVID-19 was higher in old age population, male gender, symptomatic and co morbid patients as compared to other similarly matched group. Most of mortality was noted within first few days of admission, suggestive of early mortality due to the primary disease process. Treatment with HCQ had early recovery without effectively influencing the overall mortality.


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