Retrospective Analysis of Inflammatory Markers and Patient Characteristics in Hospitalized Covid-19 Patients: An Early Experience in Louisiana

Cureus. 2020 Sep 5;12(9):e10257. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10257.


Background The community transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) was detected in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March 2020. Several previous studies have reported elevations of inflammatory markers in Covid-19 positive patients and suggested a possible correlation to disease severity. Methods We identified 69 patients from Baton Rouge General (BRG) Hospital who were admitted with acute hypoxic respiratory failure and laboratory confirmed positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) between March 13 and April 5, 2020. Demographic and laboratory data were obtained through a review of medical records. Statistical analysis was performed on several inflammatory markers in association with clinical disease severity. Results We identified 69 patients with confirmed Covid-19 infection. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 65±14 years, 68% were male and 32% were female. A total of 13 patients (19%) were considered to have mild disease, 25 (36%) had moderate disease, and 31 (45%) were considered to have severe disease. A total of nine patients died (13%), 25 (36%) have been discharged from the hospital, 20 (29%) remain in the ICU, and 15 (22%) remain admitted to the hospital at the time of writing. Lymphopenia was common among hospitalized patients (39%) and was found to be statistically more pronounced in patients with severe disease (p<0.05). Inflammatory marker elevations were also seen in several patients, with statistically significant elevations in C-reactive protein (CRP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (p <0.05). We found no statistically significant associations between ferritin, D-dimer, troponin I, body mass index (BMI), or creatine kinase (CK) with disease severity. Conclusions During the first three weeks of the Covid-19 outbreak in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the most common reason for admission amongst Covid-19 positive patients was acute hypoxic respiratory failure. Previously, several studies have suggested a correlation between elevated inflammatory markers and disease severity. The presence of lymphopenia and elevations of CRP and LDH may be helpful in the risk stratification of these patients. In an effort to guide clinical decision making and provide insight into disease severity, further characterization of Covid-19 infection in hospitalized patients is urgently needed.

Keywords: covid; covid 19; inflammatory mediators; sars; sars-cov-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus -2); sars-cov-2 and covid-19.