Dis Markers. 2021 Mar 23;2021:6658270. doi: 10.1155/2021/6658270. eCollection 2021.
AIM: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ranges from mild clinical phenotypes to life-threatening conditions like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). It has been suggested that early liver injury in these patients could be a risk factor for poor outcome. We aimed to identify early biochemical predictive factors related to severe disease development with intensive care requirements in patients with COVID-19.
METHODS: Data from COVID-19 patients were collected at admission time to our hospital. Differential biochemical factors were identified between seriously ill patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission (ICU patients) versus stable patients without the need for ICU admission (non-ICU patients). Multiple linear regression was applied, then a predictive model of severity called Age-AST-D dimer (AAD) was constructed (n = 166) and validated (n = 170).
RESULTS: Derivation cohort: from 166 patients included, there were 27 (16.3%) ICU patients that showed higher levels of liver injury markers (P < 0.01) compared with non-ICU patients: alanine aminotrasnferase (ALT) 225.4 ± 341.2 vs. 41.3 ± 41.1, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) 325.3 ± 382.4 vs. 52.8 ± 47.1, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) 764.6 ± 401.9 vs. 461.0 ± 185.6, D-dimer (DD) 7765 ± 9109 vs. 1871 ± 4146, and age 58.6 ± 12.7 vs. 49.1 ± 12.8. With these finding, a model called Age-AST-DD (AAD), with a cut-point of <2.75 (sensitivity = 0.797 and specificity = 0.391, c - statistic = 0.74; 95%IC: 0.62-0.86, P < 0.001), to predict the risk of need admission to ICU (OR = 5.8; 95% CI: 2.2-15.4, P = 0.001), was constructed. Validation cohort: in 170 different patients, the AAD model < 2.75 (c - statistic = 0.80 (95% CI: 0.70-0.91, P < 0.001) adequately predicted the risk (OR = 8.8, 95% CI: 3.4-22.6, P < 0.001) to be admitted in the ICU (27 patients, 15.95%).
CONCLUSIONS: The elevation of AST (a possible marker of early liver injury) along with DD and age efficiently predict early (at admission time) probability of ICU admission during the clinical course of COVID-19. The AAD model can improve the comprehensive management of COVID-19 patients, and it could be useful as a triage tool to early classify patients with a high risk of developing a severe clinical course of the disease.