The COVID-19 pandemic is persistent worldwide. A prior meta-analysis suggested the association of thrombocytopenia (TCP) with more severe COVID-19 illness and high mortality. Considering newly published studies, we updated the previous meta-analysis to confirm and explain the association of TCP with COVID-19 severity and multiple outcomes. Twenty-four studies with 5637 patients with COVID-19 were included in this study. The weighted incidence of TCP in COVID-19 was 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.9%-17.7%). Data synthesis showed that the platelet number was lower in patients with either more severe illness or poor outcomes and even lower in nonsurvivors, with weighted mean differences of -24.56 × 109/L, -22.48 × 109/L, and -49.02 × 109/L, respectively. The meta-analysis of binary outcomes (with and without TCP) indicated the association between TCP and 3-fold enhanced risk of a composite outcome of intensive care unit admission, progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome, and mortality (odds ratio [OR], 3.49; 95% CI, 1.57-7.78). Subgroup analysis by endpoint events suggested TCP to be significantly associated with mortality (OR, 7.37; 95% CI, 2.08-26.14). Overall, the present comprehensive meta-analysis indicated that approximately 12% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have TCP, which also represents a sign of more severe illness and poor outcomes.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus disease 2019; platelet; prognosis; thrombocytopenia.
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