Clinical characteristics and risk factors for mortality in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in intensive care unit: a single- center, retrospective, observational study in China

Ann Palliat Med. 2021 Mar;10(3):2859-2868. doi: 10.21037/apm-20-1575. Epub 2021 Feb 5.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially life-threatening contagious disease which has spread all over the world. Risk factors associated with the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 pneumonia in intensive care unit (ICU) have not yet been well determined.

Methods: This was a retrospective, single-centered, observational study, in which 47 patients with confirmed COVID-19 were consecutively enrolled from February 24 to April 5, 2020. The patients were registered from the ICU of Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were collected and compared between survivors and non-survivors. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to analyze the risk factors of death in patients with COVID-19.

Results: The study cohort included 47 adult patients with an average age of 70.55±12.52 years, and 30 (63.8%) patients were men. Totally 15 (31.9%) patients died. When compared to survivors, nonsurvivors showed a higher proportion of septic shock [6 (40%) patients vs. 3 (9.4%) patients], disseminated intravascular coagulation [3 (21.4%) vs. 0], and had higher score of APACHE II (25.07±8.03 vs. 15.56±5.95), CURB-65 {3 [2-4] vs. 2 [1-3]}, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) {7 [5-9] vs. 3 [1-6]}, higher level of D-dimer {5.74 [2.32-18] vs 2.05 [1.09-4.00]} and neutrophil count {9.4 [7.68-14.54] vs. 5.32 [3.85-9.34]}. SOFA score (OR 1.47; 95% CI: 1.01-2.13; P=0.0042) and the lymphocyte count (OR 0.02; 95% CI: 0.00-0.86; P=0.042) on admission were independently risk factors for mortality. Patients with higher lymphocyte count (>0.63×109 /L) and lower SOFA score (≤4) on admission had a significantly better prognosis than those with lower lymphocyte count (≤0.63×109 /L) and higher SOFA score (>4) in overall survival.

Conclusions: Higher SOFA score and lower lymphocyte count at admission were connected with poor prognosis of patients with COVID-19 in ICU. Lymphocyte count may serve as a promising prognostic biomarker.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); intensive care unit (ICU); lymphocyte count; mortality.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Dysfunction Scores
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors