Predictive risk factors for worse outcomes in COVID-19 patients with different clinical features at baseline
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Clinic of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy
Clinical Pathology and Ematology, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Italy
Elisabetta Schiaroli   

Clinic of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Submission date: 2020-08-07
Final revision date: 2020-10-08
Acceptance date: 2020-11-12
Online publication date: 2021-02-15
COVID-19 is characterized by a wide range of clinical expression and by possible progression to critical illness and death. Therefore it is essential to identify risk factors predicting progression towards serious and fatal diseases. The aim of our study was to identify laboratory predictive markers of clinical progression in patients with moderate/severe disease and in those with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Material and methods:
Using electronic medical records for all demographic, clinical and laboratory data, a retrospective study on all consecutive patients with COVID-19 admitted to the Infectious Disease Clinic of Perugia was performed. The PaO2/FiO2 ratio (P/F) assessment cut‑off of 200 mm Hg was used at baseline to categorize the patients into two clinical groups. The progression towards invasive ventilation and/or death was used to identify critical outcome. Statistical analysis was performed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was adopted to identify risk factors of critical illness and mortality.

In multivariate logistic regression analysis neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR) was the only significant predictive factor of progression to a critical outcome (p = 0.03) and of in-hospital mortality (p = 0.03). In ARDS patients no factors were associated with critical progression. Serum ferritin > 1006 ng/ml was the only predictive value of critical outcome in COVID-19 subjects with moderate/severe disease (p = 0.02).

Neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and serum ferritin are the only biomarkers that can help to stratify the risk of severity and mortality in patients with COVID-19.