Front Immunol. 2021 Oct 22;12:741061. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.741061. eCollection 2021.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in a global pandemic, challenging both the medical and scientific community for the development of novel vaccines and a greater understanding of the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 has been associated with a pronounced and out-of-control inflammatory response. Studies have sought to understand the effects of inflammatory response markers to prognosticate the disease. Herein, we aimed to review the evidence of 11 groups of systemic inflammatory markers for risk-stratifying patients and prognosticating outcomes related to COVID-19. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in prognosticating patient outcomes, including but not limited to severe disease, hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, intubation, and death. A few markers outperformed NLR in predicting outcomes, including 1) systemic immune-inflammation index (SII), 2) prognostic nutritional index (PNI), 3) C-reactive protein (CRP) to albumin ratio (CAR) and high-sensitivity CAR (hsCAR), and 4) CRP to prealbumin ratio (CPAR) and high-sensitivity CPAR (hsCPAR). However, there are a limited number of studies comparing NLR with these markers, and such conclusions require larger validation studies. Overall, the evidence suggests that most of the studied markers are able to predict COVID-19 prognosis, however NLR seems to be the most robust marker.