The Effects of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine on ACE2-Related Coronavirus Pathology

The Effects of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine on ACE2-Related Coronavirus Pathology and the Cardiovascular System: An Evidence-Based Review.

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a serious threat to global public health and there is currently no effective antiviral therapy.

It has been suggested that chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), which were primarily employed as prophylaxis and treatment for malaria, could be used to treat COVID-19. CQ and HCQ may be potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells, which are mediated via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and may also inhibit subsequent intracellular processes which lead to COVID-19, including damage to the cardiovascular (CV) system.

However, paradoxically, CQ and HCQ have also been reported to cause damage to the CV system. In this review, we provide a critical examination of the published evidence. CQ and HCQ could potentially be useful drugs in the treatment of COVID-19 and other ACE2 involved virus infections, but the antiviral effects of CQ and HCQ need to be tested in more well-designed clinical randomized studies and their actions on the CV system need to be further elucidated.

However, even if it were to turn out that CQ and HCQ are not useful drugs in practice, further studies of their mechanism of action could be helpful in improving our understanding of COVID-19 pathology.

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