PLoS One. 2020 Nov 20;15(11):e0242400. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242400. eCollection 2020.
Recent studies have reported that CRP levels are elevated in patients with COVID-19 and may correlate with severity of disease and disease progression. We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of the medical records of 268 adult patients, who were admitted to one of the six cohorted COVID ICUs across Emory Healthcare System and had at least two CRP values within the first seven days of admission to study the temporal progression of CRP and its association with all-cause in-hospital mortality. The median CRP during hospitalization for the entire cohort was 130 mg/L (IQR 82-191 mg/L), and the median CRP on ICU admission was 169 (IQR 111-234). The hospitalization-wide median CRP was significantly higher amongst the patients who died, compared to those who survived [206 mg/L (157-288 mg/L) vs 114 mg/L (72-160 mg/L), p<0.001]. CRP levels increased in a linear fashion during the first week of hospitalization and peaked on day 5. Compared to patients who died, those who survived had lower peak CRP levels and earlier declines. CRP levels were significantly higher in patients who died compared to those who survived (p<0.001). Our findings support the utility of daily CRP values in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and provide early thresholds during hospitalization that may facilitate risk stratification and prognostication.