The authors of the study assessed heterogeneity of the trials’ data across the outcomes using an I2 test. They evaluated the quality of the evidence for the outcomes using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE).
The results of their meta-analysis showed that colchicine offered no significant improvement in mortality in six studies (risk difference, –0.0; 95% confidence interval, –0.01 to 0.01; I2 = 15%). It showed no benefit with respect to requiring ventilatory support in five studies of 15,519 patients (risk ratio, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.38-1.21; I2 = 47%); being admitted to the ICU in three studies with 220 patients (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.19-1.25; I2 = 34%); and length of stay while in the hospital in four studies of 11,560 patients (mean difference, –1.17; 95% CI, –3.02 to 0.67; I2 = 77%).
There was no difference in serious adverse events in three studies with 4,665 patients (RD, –0.01; 95% CI, –0.02 to 0.00; I2 = 28%) for patients who received colchicine, compared with supportive care alone. Patients who received colchicine were more likely to have a higher rate of adverse events (RR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.07-2.33; I2 = 81%) and to experience diarrhea (RR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.62-2.29; I2 = 0%) than were patients who received supportive care alone. The researchers note that for most outcomes, the GRADE quality of evidence was moderate.
“Our findings on colchicine should be interpreted cautiously due to the inclusion of open-labeled, randomized clinical trials,” Dr. Mehta and colleagues write. “The analysis of efficacy and safety outcomes are based on a small number of RCTs in control interventions.”
The authors reported no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Pillinger is co–principal investigator of the U.S. component of the COLCORONA trial; he reported no other relevant conflicts of interest.
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