Elevated Monocyte Distribution Width in COVID-19 Patients: The Contribution of the Novel Sepsis Indicator

Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Jun 3;509:22-24. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2020.06.002. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Interesting results regarding the contribution of MDW (Monocyte Distribution Width) in the Infectious Disease Unit have been reported. An observational study is ongoing at San Donato Hospital with the aim to evaluate the contribution of MDW in the diagnostic pathway in adult patients entering in the ED setting and tested for SARS-CoV-2.

Material and method: COVID-19 symptomatic and paucisymptomatic patients presenting to ED (Emergency Department), have been enrolled consecutively. Whole blood venous samples have been collected on K2 EDTA for MDW determination, at the same time a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection have been collected.

Results: One hundred six patients were negative for SARS-CoV-2 with MDW mean value of 20.3 ± 3.3, while forty-one were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with higher MDW mean value of 27.3 ± 4.9 (P < 0.005). The ROC curve analysis has been evaluated showing MDW AUC of 0.91. Finally twenty-three patients hospitalized in high-intensity care unit showed an MDW value higher than the eighteen patients presenting few symptoms [28.8 ± 5.3 vs 25.4 ± 3.6 respectively, P < 0.05].

Discussion: Monocytic population, in Covid19 disease, are the first elements of innate immunity to be involved, these changes are the basis of the modification of the MDW, with evident efficacy in term of sensitivity, particularly in the studied Covid19 patients. Moreover the patients hospitalized in high-intensity care unit showed significantly elevated MDW respects to middle or low symptomatic one, suggest including this parameter as prognostic marker or of therapy efficacy, integrated with other laboratory findings.

Keywords: COVID-19; Monocyte distribution width; SARS-CoV-2.