PLoS One. 2021 Dec 28;16(12):e0261358. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261358. eCollection 2021.
INTRODUCTION: Colchicine may inhibit inflammasome signaling and reduce proinflammatory cytokines, a purported mechanism of COVID-19 pneumonia. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to report on the state of the current literature on the use of colchicine in COVID-19 and to investigate the reported clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients by colchicine usage.
METHODS: The literature was searched from January 2019 through January 28, 2021. References were screened to identify studies that reported the effect of colchicine usage on COVID-19 outcomes including mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, or mechanical ventilation. Studies were meta-analyzed for mortality by the subgroup of trial design (RCT vs observational) and ICU status. Studies reporting an risk ratio (RR), odds ratio (OR) and hazard ratio (HR) were analyzed separately.
RESULTS: Eight studies, reporting on 16,248 patients, were included in this review. The Recovery trial reported equivalent mortality between colchicine and non-colchicine users. Across the other studies, patients who received colchicine had a lower risk of mortality-HR of 0.25 (95% CI: 0.09, 0.66) and OR of 0.22 (95% CI: 0.09, 0.57). There was no statistical difference in risk of ICU admissions between patients with COVID-19 who received colchicine and those who did not-OR of 0.26 (95% CI: 0.06, 1.09).
CONCLUSION: Colchicine may reduce the risk of mortality in individuals with COVID-19. Further prospective investigation may further determine the efficacy of colchicine as treatment in COVID-19 patients in various care settings of the disease, including post-hospitalization and long-term care.