Int Immunopharmacol. 2020 Dec 11;91:107285. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2020.107285. Online ahead of print.
C-reactive protein-to-albumin ratio (CAR) has been used as an indicator of prognosis in various diseases. Here, we intended to assess the CAR's diagnostic power in early differentiation of hospitalized severe COVID-19 cases. In this retrospectively designed study, we evaluated 197 patients in total. They were divided into two groups based on their severity of COVID-19 as non-severe (n = 113) and severe (n = 84). The comparison of groups' demographic data, comorbidities, clinical symptoms, and laboratory test results were done. Laboratory data of the patients within the first 24 h after admission to the hospital were evaluated. The calculation of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the diagnostic power of CAR in differentiating severity of COVID-19. Independent risk factors predictive of COVID-19 severity were determined by using logistic regression analysis. Although lymphocyte count levels were lower, severe COVID-19 patients had higher mean age, higher levels of neutrophil count, CRP, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), ferritin, and prothrombin time (P < 0.05). Compared with non-severe patients (median, 0.23 [IQR = 0.07-1.56]), patients with severe COVID-19 had higher CAR levels (median, 1.66 [IQR = 0.50-3.35]; P < 0.001). Age (OR = 1.046, P = 0.003), CAR (OR = 1.264, P = 0.037), and AST (OR = 1.029, P = 0.037) were independent risk factors for severe COVID-19 based on the multivariate logistic regression analysis. ROC curve analysis assigned 0.9 as the cut-off value for CAR for differentiation of severe COVID-19 (area under the curve = 0.718, 69.1% sensitivity, 70.8% specificity, P < 0.001). CAR is a useful marker in early differentiation of severity in patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 that have longer hospital stay and higher mortality.