Background: Several immune mechanisms activate in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Usually, coronavirus infection is characterized by dysregulated host immune responses, interleukine-6 increase, hyper-activation of cytotoxic CD8 T lymphocytes. Interestingly, Vitamin D deficiency has been often associated with altered immune responses and infections. In the present study, we evaluated Vitamin D plasma levels in patients affected with different lung involvement during COVID-19 infection.
Methods: Lymphocyte phenotypes were assessed by flow cytometry. Thoracic CT scan involvement was obtained by an image analysis program.
Results: Vitamin D levels were deficient in (80%) of patients, insufficient in (6.5%) and normal in (13.5%). Patients with very low Vitamin D plasma levels had more elevated D-Dimer values, a more elevated B lymphocyte cell count, a reduction of CD8 + T lymphocytes with a low CD4/CD8 ratio, more compromised clinical findings (measured by LIPI and SOFA scores) and thoracic CT scan involvement.
Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with compromised inflammatory responses and higher pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 affected patients. Vitamin D assessment, during COVID-19 infection, could be a useful analysis for possible therapeutic interventions.
Trial registration: 'retrospectively registered'.