The radiographic assessment of lung edema score of lung edema severity correlates with inflammatory parameters in patients with coronavirus disease 2019-Potential new admission biomarkers to predict coronavirus disease 2019 worsening

Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Aug 11:9:871714. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.871714. eCollection 2022.


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has placed enormous pressure on intensive care units (ICUs) and on healthcare systems in general. A deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of the most severe forms of COVID-19 would help guide the development of more effective interventions. Herein, we characterized the inflammatory state of patients with COVID-19 of varying degrees of severity to identify admission biomarkers for predicting COVID-19 worsening.

Design: Admission blood samples were obtained from 78 patients with COVID-19. Radiographic assessment of lung edema (RALE) scoring was calculated by imaging. Platelet and leukocyte counts were measured by flow cytometry, and plasma levels of C-reactive protein were assessed by immunoturbidimetry, and interleukin (IL)-8/CXCL8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: The RALE score correlated with several admission hemogram (platelets, neutrophils, and lymphocytes) and inflammatory (IL-8/CXCL8, MCP-1/CCL2, IL-10, and C-reactive protein) parameters. COVID-19 worsening, based on the need for oxygen (Δoxygen supply) during hospitalization, correlated negatively with admission lymphocyte counts but positively with neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and with plasma levels of the inflammatory parameters correlating with RALE score.

Conclusion: Our data indicate a correlation between the RALE score and Δoxygen supply and admission inflammatory status. The identification of a panel of biomarkers that reflect COVID severity might be useful to predict disease worsening during hospitalization and to guide clinical management of COVID-19-related complications. Finally, therapies targeting IL-8/CXCL8- or IL-10 activity may offer therapeutic approaches in COVID-19 treatment.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; biomarkers; inflammation; rale score.