Washington: Scientists have found five medical indicators in the blood of COVID-19 patients. These five medical indicators are associated with higher odds of death due to the disease. The medical findings can help physicians better predict clinical outcomes of those infected with the novel coronavirus.
The study has been published in the journal ‘Future Medicine’. It evaluated 299 patients diagnosed with COVID-19. All were admitted to the George Washington University (GW) Hospital between March 12 and May 9, 2020.
It revealed that 200 of the patients had all five biomarker molecules being evaluated – IL-6, D-dimer, CRP, LDH and Ferritin. Scientists said that evaluation of the five molecules can help in preventing a severe COVID-19 attack.
According to the researchers, including those from GW, elevated levels of these biomarkers were associated with inflammation and bleeding disorder. It showed increased risk for admission in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), invasive ventilatory support, and death.
They said the highest odds of death occurred when levels of the molecule LDH was greater than 1200 units per litre. Also when the D-dimer level was greater than three microgrammes per milliliter, the fatality rate increased.
“Laboratory markers of inflammation and coagulopathy can help clinicians identify patients who are at high risk for clinical deterioration in COVID-19,” the scientists concluded in the study.
“We hope these biomarkers help physicians determine how aggressively they need to treat patients. They can decided on whether a patient should be discharged, and how to monitor patients who are going home, among other clinical decisions,” said Shant Ayanian. He is the first author of the study from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Currently, the scientists said doctors determine risk for COVID-19 deterioration and death based on age and certain underlying medical conditions. Among them are a compromised immune system, obesity, and heart disease.
They said performing a simple blood test for patients admitted to the ICU, and also making decisions based on the biomarkers present, may further aid point-of-care clinical decision making.