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Modeling sudden cardiac death risks factors in COVID-19 patients -the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin case

Abstract : Aims. Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly become a worldwide pandemic. Many clinical trials have been initiated to fight the disease. Among those, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin had initially been suggested to improve clinical outcomes. Despite any demonstrated beneficial effects, they are still in use in some countries but have been reported to prolong the QT interval and induce life-threatening arrhythmia. Since a significant proportion of the world population may be treated with such COVID-19 therapies, evaluation of the arrhythmogenic risk of any candidate drug is needed. Methods Using the O'Hara-Rudy computer model of human ventricular wedge, we evaluate the arrhythmogenic potential of clinical factors that can further alter repolarization in COVID-19 patients in addition to HCQ and AZM such as tachycardia, hypokalemia, and subclinical to mild long QT syndrome. Results. HCQ and AZM drugs have little impact on QT duration and do not induce any substrate prone to arrhythmia in COVID-19 patients with normal cardiac repolarization reserve. Nevertheless, in every tested condition in which this reserve is reduced, the model predicts larger ECG impairments, as with dofetilide. In subclinical conditions, the model suggests that mexiletine limits the deleterious effects of AZM and HCQ. Conclusion. By studying the HCQ and AZM co-administration case, we show that the easyto-use ORd model can be applied to assess the QT-prolongation potential of off-label drugs, beyond HCQ and AZM, in different conditions representative of COVID-19 patients and to evaluate the potential impact of additional drug used to limit the arrhythmogenic risk.
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http://hal.univ-nantes.fr/hal-03160847
Contributor : Gildas Loussouarn <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 5, 2021 - 3:31:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 5:50:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, June 6, 2021 - 7:05:09 PM

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Jérôme Montnach, Isabelle Baró, Flavien Charpentier, Michel de Waard, Gildas Loussouarn. Modeling sudden cardiac death risks factors in COVID-19 patients -the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin case. 2021. ⟨hal-03160847⟩

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