George Washington University (GW) researchers uncovered five biomarkers, that is medical indicators observed in the blood, that reveal greater odds of clinical degradation and death in COVID-19 patients. The hope is that these findings will support efforts of researchers to discover superior ways to forecast or predict outcomes for COVID-19 patients. The study results were published in Future Medicine. Key take way from this study is that the following five biomarkers represent real trouble for COVID-19 patients: IL-6, D-dimer, CRP, LDH and ferritin.
Recently published in Future Medicine and summarized in Science Daily, the study team reviewed 299 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 that were admitted to GW Hospital between March 12 and May 9, 2020. Interestingly, 200 of these patients had all five biomarkers under evaluation including IL-6, D-dimer, CRP, LDH and ferritin. With elevated levels of these biomarkers comes trouble in the from of inflammation, bleeding disorder revealing an independent risk for ICU admission as well as invasive ventilatory support and mortality. When LDH levels are over 1200 units/l and a D-dimer level is greater than 3g/ml comes the most severe risk for death.
Shant Ayanian, MD, and first author was quoted, “We hope these biomarkers help physicians determine how aggressively they need to treat patients, whether a patient should be discharged, and how to monitor patients who are going home, among other clinical decisions.”
How can this Change COVID-19 Diagnosis Approach?
Presently physicians determine risk for COVID-19 deterioration and death, reports Science Daily, based on a number of diagnostic assessments associated with age, underlying medical conditions (e.g. obesity, heart disease, etc.). The hope here is that with this knowledge the actual performance of a simple blood test to identify if these biomarkers are present may augment or improve aid at point-of-care clinical decision marking.
Call to Action: The GW research team will continue to analyze this data to help physicians make more informed decisions for patients as well as help hospitals that possibly must stratify resources. Follow the link to read the entire study.