Evaluation of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Severity Using Urine Biomarkers

Crit Care Explor. 2020 Jul 31;2(8):e0170. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000170. eCollection 2020 Aug.


Subjects: Early detection of coronavirus disease 2019 in patients likely to develop severe manifestations enables appropriate interventions, including rapid ICU admission. This study was conducted to determine whether noninvasive urine biomarkers can predict the clinical severity of coronavirus disease 2019.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Measurements and main results: This is single-center study, national center hospital designated for infectious disease. Fifty-eight patients who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in respiratory specimens through real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were retrospectively studied. Urinary β2-microglobulin, liver-type fatty acid-binding protein were serially measured. Serum interferon-γ and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 were also evaluated. The 58 patients were assigned into three groups. Patients requiring intensive care were assigned to the severe group (n = 12). Patients treated with oxygen were assigned to the moderate group (n = 13). Other patients were assigned to the mild group (n = 33). Urine tests revealed that low β2-microglobulin and liver-type fatty acid-binding protein levels were associated with mild disease, whereas high levels were associated with severe disease. In severe cases, liver-type fatty acid-binding protein tended to be persistently high. The resulting cutoff values were β2-microglobulin; severe versus moderate + mild: 2,457 μg/dL (specificity 76.9% and sensitivity 90.0%, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 85.9%), liver-type fatty acid-binding protein; severe versus moderate + mild: 22.0 μg/gCre (specificity 84.6% and sensitivity 90%, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 91.8%). Urinary β2-microglobulin and serum interferon-γ/monocyte chemotactic protein-1 showed a similar trend.

Conclusions: Evaluating urinary biomarkers such as β2-microglobulin and liver-type fatty acid-binding protein may allow determination of coronavirus disease 2019 patients with active cytokines and recognition of patients likely to become critically ill and requiring careful observation and early intervention.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; coronavirus disease 2019; cytokine; liver-type fatty acid-binding protein; urinary biomarker; β2-microglobulin.