ESC Statement on Hydroxychloroquine and Arrhythmias in COVID-19 Patients

The European Society of Cardiology would like to emphasize that the research on the effects of hydroxychloroquine on arrhythmias published recently by Gasperetti et al in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC),1  was not designed to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 but only to assess safety with respect to electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and heart rhythm.

In this study, short-term hydroxychloroquine treatment was not associated with severe cardiac rhythm disorders in patients with COVID-19 under appropriate surveillance, which included screening of the patients´ ECG prior to initiating the drug and repeat ECGs during the course of treatment. The study does not provide any evidence that hydroxychloroquine will contribute to the cure of COVID-19.

The Europace paper is here: Arrhythmic safety of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients from different clinical settings.

The press release is here: Heart rhythm in COVID-19 patients receiving short term treatment with hydroxychloroquine.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The ESC brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people to live longer, healthier lives.

About EP Europace

EP Europace covers the fields of arrhythmias, pacing and cellular electrophysiology.


1Gasperetti A, Biffi M, Duru F, et al. Arrhythmic safety of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients from different clinical settings. Europace. 2020. doi:10.1093/europace/euaa216.