Background COVID-19 MESHD
has overloaded national health services worldwide. Thus, early identification of patients at risk of poor outcomes is critical. Our objective was to analyse SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in serum as a severity biomarker in COVID-19 MESHD
Methods and FindingsRetrospective observational study including 193 patients admitted for COVID-19 MESHD
. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in serum (CoVemia) was performed with samples collected at 48-72 hours of admission by two techniques from Roche and Thermo Fischer Scientific (TFS). Main outcome variables were mortality and need for ICU admission during hospitalization for COVID-19 MESHD
CoVemia was detected in 50-60% of patients depending on technique. The correlation of Ct in serum between both techniques was good (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.612; p < 0.001). Patients with CoVemia were older (p = 0.006), had poorer baseline oxygenation (PaO2/FiO2; p < 0.001), more severe lymphopenia MESHD
(p < 0.001) and higher LDH (p < 0.001), IL-6 HGNC
(p = 0.021), C-reactive protein HGNC
( CRP HGNC
; p = 0.022) and procalcitonin (p = 0.002) serum levels.
We defined "relevant CoVemia" when detection Ct was < 34 with Roche and < 31 for TFS. These thresholds had 95% sensitivity and 35 % specificity. Relevant CoVemia predicted death during hospitalization (OR 9.2 [3.8 - 22.6] for Roche, OR 10.3 [3.6 - 29.3] for TFS; p < 0.001). Cox regression models, adjusted by age, sex and Charlson index, identified increased LDH serum levels and relevant CoVemia (HR = 9.87 [4.13-23.57] for TFS viremia MESHD
and HR = 7.09 [3.3-14.82] for Roche viremia MESHD
) as the best markers to predict mortality.
ConclusionsCoVemia assessment at admission is the most useful biomarker for predicting mortality in COVID-19 MESHD
patients. CoVemia is highly reproducible with two different techniques (TFS and Roche), has a good consistency with other severity biomarkers for COVID-19 MESHD
and better predictive accuracy.
AUTHOR SUMMARY COVID-19 MESHD
shows a very heterogeneous clinical picture. In addition, it has overloaded national health services worldwide. Therefore, early identification of patients with poor prognosis is critical to improve the use of limited health resources. In this work, we evaluated whether baseline SARS-CoV2 RNA detection in blood (CoVemia) is associated with worse outcomes. We studied almost 200 patients admitted to our hospital and about 50-60% of them showed positive CoVemia. Patients with positive CoVemia were older and had more severe disease; CoVemia was also more frequent in patients requiring admission to the ICU. Moreover, we defined "relevant CoVemia", as the amount of viral load that better predicted mortality obtaining 95% sensitivity and 35% specificity. In addition, relevant CoVemia was a better predictor than other biomarkers such as LDH, lymphocyte count, interleukin-6 HGNC
, and indexes used in ICU such as qSOFA and CURB65.
In summary, detection of CoVemia is the best biomarker to predict death MESHD
in COVID-19 MESHD
patients. Furthermore, it is easy to be implemented and is reproducible with two techniques (Roche and Thermo Fisher Scientific) that are currently used for diagnosis in nasopharyngeal swabs samples.