Survival in adult pneumonia inpatients fulfilling suspected COVID-19 criteria and baseline negative RT-qPCR

Link to article at PubMed

Public Health. 2021 May 5;195:123-125. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2021.04.023. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the survival experience of suspicion COVID-19 hospitalized patients with pneumonia and negative baseline reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) test results.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study in Mexico.

METHODS: Adult pneumonia inpatients fulfilling suspected COVID-19 criteria, and hospital entry from March to August 2020, were enrolled. The Kaplan-Meier method was to use to compare survival estimates among patients with negative RT-qPCR nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs and those with a baseline positive test.

RESULTS: Data from 64,624 individuals fulfilling suspected COVID-19 criteria were analyzed and 1.6% of them had negative RT-qPCR tests. The overall mortality rate was higher among laboratory-positive patients (48.5% vs. 34.2%, P < 0.001) and, at any given threshold, the survival estimates were higher among RT-qPCR-negative pneumonia inpatients.

CONCLUSIONS: The pathogenic mechanism of COVID-19 remains poorly understood and suspected cases with pneumonia and negative laboratory results represent a major challenge for healthcare systems. Our findings suggest that RT-qPCR-negative inpatients may have an improved disease prognosis, but the in-hospital mortality was still high among them. However, further research is needed to clarify the clinical and epidemiological implications of our results.

PMID:34089950 | DOI:10.1016/j.puhe.2021.04.023

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