Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 Jun 26;7:374. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00374. eCollection 2020.
Background: The predictive value of prealbumin for the prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not been extensively investigated. Methods: A total of 1,115 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled at Tongji hospital from February to April 2020 and classified into fatal (n = 129) and recovered (n = 986) groups according to the patient's outcome. Prealbumin and other routine laboratory indicators were measured simultaneously. Results: The level of prealbumin on admission was significantly lower in fatal patients than in recovered patients. For predicting the prognosis of COVID-19, the performance of prealbumin was better than most routine laboratory indicators, such as albumin, lymphocyte count, neutrophil count, hypersensitive C-reactive protein, d-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine, and hypersensitive cardiac troponin I. When a threshold of 126 mg/L was used to discriminate between fatal and recovered patients, the sensitivity and specificity of prealbumin were, respectively, 78.29 and 90.06%. Furthermore, a model based on the combination of nine indexes showed an improved performance in predicting the death of patients with COVID-19. Using a cut-off value of 0.19, the prediction model was able to distinguish between fatal and recovered individuals with a sensitivity of 86.82% and a specificity of 90.37%. Conclusions: A lower level of prealbumin on admission may indicate a worse outcome of COVID-19. Immune and nutritional status may be vital factors for predicting disease progression in the early stage of COVID-19.