Inflammatory markers in gynecologic oncology patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection

Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Dec;159(3):618-622. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.09.036. Epub 2020 Sep 25.


Objective: Elevated inflammatory markers are predictive of COVID-19 infection severity and mortality. It is unclear if these markers are associated with severe infection in patients with cancer due to underlying tumor related inflammation. We sought to further understand the inflammatory response related to COVID-19 infection in patients with gynecologic cancer.

Methods: Patients with a history of gynecologic cancer hospitalized for COVID-19 infection with available laboratory data were identified. Admission laboratory values and clinical outcomes were abstracted from electronic medical records. Severe infection was defined as infection requiring ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, or resulting in death.

Results: 86 patients with gynecologic cancer were hospitalized with COVID-19 infection with a median age of 68.5 years (interquartile range (IQR), 59.0-74.8). Of the 86 patients, 29 (33.7%) patients required ICU admission and 25 (29.1%) patients died of COVID-19 complications. Fifty (58.1%) patients had active cancer and 36 (41.9%) were in remission. Patients with severe infection had significantly higher ferritin (median 1163.0 vs 624.0 ng/mL, p < 0.01), procalcitonin (median 0.8 vs 0.2 ng/mL, p < 0.01), and C-reactive protein (median 142.0 vs 62.3 mg/L, p = 0.02) levels compared to those with moderate infection. White blood cell count, lactate, and creatinine were also associated with severe infection. D-dimer levels were not significantly associated with severe infection (p = 0.20).

Conclusions: The inflammatory markers ferritin, procalcitonin, and CRP were associated with COVID-19 severity in gynecologic cancer patients and may be used as prognostic markers at the time of admission.

Keywords: COVID-19 severity; Coronavirus disease 2019; Gynecologic cancer; Inflammatory markers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • COVID-19 / blood
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / blood
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / complications
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diagnosis*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission
  • Prognosis
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein