A summary of the diagnostic and prognostic value of hemocytometry markers in COVID-19 patients

Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2020 Sep;57(6):415-431. doi: 10.1080/10408363.2020.1774736. Epub 2020 Jun 22.


Many studies have reported hemocytometric changes in COVID-19 infection at admission and during the course of disease, but an overview is lacking. We provide a summary of the literature of hemocytometric changes and evaluate whether these changes may assist clinicians in diagnosing and predicting disease progression of COVID-19. Eighty-three out of 250 articles from December 2019 to 20 May 2020 were included from the databases, PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, Embase, Cochrane and MedRxiv. Our review of the literature indicates that lymphopenia and an elevated neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio are the most consistent abnormal hemocytometric findings and that these alterations may augment in the course of time, especially in those with severe disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; hemocytometry; platelets; red blood cells; white blood cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / physiology*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Biomarkers