Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte, Lymphocyte-to-Monocyte, and Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratios: Prognostic Significance in COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Jan 11;13(1):e12622. doi: 10.7759/cureus.12622.

ABSTRACT

Background and objective Neutrophils are primarily responsible for activating the immune system, and systemic inflammation destroys CD4+ T lymphocytes and increases suppressor CD8+ T lymphocytes, thereby leading to an increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR). An increase in the apoptosis of lymphocytes leads to lymphopenia and elevated thrombopoietin (THPO) promotes megakaryocyte production. The reflections of these inflammatory changes can be vital in gauging the progression of the disease. This study aimed at examining the prognostic value of normal and derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte, lymphocyte-to-monocyte, platelet-to-lymphocyte, and mean platelet volume (MPV)-to-platelet count ratios in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methodology This was a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted in the wards of Chigateri General Hospital, Davangere for a period of two months. Complete blood count was ordered for all patients at the time of admission along with confirmation of the disease by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results The final study population consisted of 100 patients. The mean age of patients who survived (43 years) was significantly lower than the mean age of non-survivors (59.1 years), with a p-value of <0.001. NLR was raised in 60% of the population and was significantly higher in patients who survived the disease, with a p-value of 0.004. The platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) also followed a similar trend with a p-value of 0.017. Even though the lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR) also mimicked the trend, the statistical association was not significant (p-value: 0.09). The derived NLR and MPV-to-platelets ratios were not found to be significantly associated with mortality in this study. Discussion Younger patients had better clinical outcomes in our study population compared to the geriatric age group. A significant correlation between LMR and mortality was observed when a cut-off of 2.5 was considered as a differentiating benchmark. Conflicting trends were observed in NLR and PLR in our study; however, LMR was in accordance with most other studies. The phase that a patient is in with regard to the natural history of the disease also influences the blood cell ratios. Nonetheless, all three ratios can be used as crucial screening and prognostic tools as they are readily available with the help of a complete hemogram. This is an investigation modality that is widely accessible even in remote areas and resource-limited settings. Conclusion These hematological ratios can facilitate in categorizing the disease severity and progression in patients, thereby enabling us to make appropriate and informed clinical decisions. Since the second wave of the novel coronavirus is on the verge of arrival, it is imperative to channel resources for the patients early in their disease course to ultimately prevent complications and reduce mortality.

PMID:33585111 | PMC:PMC7875321 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.12622

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