Relationships among lymphocyte subsets, cytokines, and the pulmonary inflammation index in coronavirus (COVID-19) infected patients

Br J Haematol. 2020 May;189(3):428-437. doi: 10.1111/bjh.16659. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


We explored the relationships between lymphocyte subsets, cytokines, pulmonary inflammation index (PII) and disease evolution in patients with (corona virus disease 2019) COVID-19. A total of 123 patients with COVID-19 were divided into mild and severe groups. Lymphocyte subsets and cytokines were detected on the first day of hospital admission and lung computed tomography results were quantified by PII. Difference analysis and correlation analysis were performed on the two groups. A total of 102 mild and 21 severe patients were included in the analysis. There were significant differences in cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4+ T), cluster of differentiation 8 (CD8+ T), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 10 (IL-10) and PII between the two groups. There were significant positive correlations between CD4+ T and CD8+ T, IL-6 and IL-10 in the mild group (r2 = 0·694, r 2 = 0·633, respectively; P < 0·01). After 'five-in-one' treatment, all patients were discharged with the exception of the four who died. Higher survival rates occurred in the mild group and in those with IL-6 within normal values. CD4+ T, CD8+ T, IL-6, IL-10 and PII can be used as indicators of disease evolution, and the PII can be used as an independent indicator for disease progression of COVID-19.

Keywords: coronavirus infected disease; cytokines; disease classification; lymphocyte subsets; pulmonary inflammatory index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Cytokines