Eosinopenia and elevated C-reactive protein facilitate triag
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COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is currently a pandemic affecting over 200 countries. Many cities have established designated fever clinics to triage suspected COVID-19 patients with other patients with similar symptoms. However, given the limited availability of the nucleic acid test as well as long waiting time for both the test and radiographic examination, the quarantine or therapeutic decisions for a large number of mixed patients were often not made in time. This study aimed to identify simple and quickly available laboratory biomarkers to facilitate effective triage at the fever clinics for sorting suspected COVID-19 patients with those with COVID-19-like symptoms.

Researchers collected clinical, etiological, and laboratory data of 989 patients who visited the Fever Clinic at Wuhan Union Hospital. Based on PCR nucleic acid testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection, they were divided into two groups: SARS-CoV-2-positive patients as cases and SARS-CoV-2-negative patients as controls. The clinical features and laboratory findings of the two groups were compared, and analyzed the diagnostic performance of several laboratory parameters in predicting SARS-CoV-2 infection were analysed and made relevant comparisons to the China diagnosis guideline of having a normal or decreased number of leukocytes or lymphopenia.

-- Normal or decreased number of leukocytes, lymphopenia, eosinopenia, and elevated hs-CRP were presented in 95.0%, 52.2%, 74.7% and 86.7% of COVID-19 patients, much higher than 87.2%, 28.8%, 31.3% and 45.2% of the controls, respectively.
-- The eosinopenia produced a sensitivity of 74.7% and specificity of 68.7% for separating the two groups with the area under the curve (AUC) of 0.717.
-- The combination of eosinopenia and elevated hs-CRP yielded a sensitivity of 67.9% and specificity of 78.2.
-- The addition of eosinopenia alone or the combination of eosinopenia and elevated hs-CRP into the guideline-recommended diagnostic parameters for COVID-19 improved the predictive capacity with higher than zero of both net reclassification improvement (NRI) and integrated discrimination improvement (IDI).

Key takeaways:

1. The combination of eosinopenia and elevated hs-CRP can effectively triage suspected COVID-19 patients with other patients attending the fever clinic with COVID-19-like initial symptoms.
2. This finding would be particularly useful for designing triage strategies in an epidemic region having a large number of patients with COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases while limited medical resources for nucleic acid tests and radiographic examination.

Source: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30119-X/fulltext
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Interesting read.
May 26, 2020Like1