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Correspondence on ‘Clinical course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a series of 17 patients with systemic lupus under long-term treatment with hydroxychloroquine’
  1. Mandana Nikpour1,
  2. Benjamin Teh2,
  3. Ian P Wicks3,4,5,
  4. Marc Pellegrini5,6
  1. 1 Department of Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Clinical Translation, The Walter and Eliza hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Rheumatology Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Department of Medical Biology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6 Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mandana Nikpour, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Fitzroy, VIC 3010, Australia; m.nikpour{at}

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We thank Mathian et al for reporting the outcomes of COVID-19 disease in a series of 17 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) from several hospitals across France.1 In a context where there is substantial interest in the role of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a potential preventive or therapeutic agent for severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), these cases are noteworthy.

While the authors have correctly acknowledged the limitations of this case series report, we wish to emphasise several important points that impact the interpretation of the findings. The denominator of all patients with lupus on hydroxychloroquine who are ‘at risk’ of COVID-19 in this setting is unknown and may indeed be impossible to even estimate as it would need to …

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  • Contributors MN authored this correspondence with contribution from BT, IPW and MP.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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