The Association between Admission Procalcitonin Level and The Severity of COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Link to article at PubMed

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Oct 3;58(10):1389. doi: 10.3390/medicina58101389.


Background and Objectives: An elevated procalcitonin level has classically been linked to bacterial infections. Data on the association between elevated procalcitonin and the outcome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are conflicting. Some linked it to associated bacterial co-infections, while others correlated the elevation with disease severity without coexisting bacterial infections. We aimed to investigate the association between high procalcitonin and the severity of COVID-19. Materials and Methods: Hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia were divided into two groups: the normal-procalcitonin group and the high-procalcitonin group (>0.05 ng/mL). Patients with concomitant bacterial infections on admission were excluded. The primary outcomes were the need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission, progression to invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and in-hospital 28-day mortality. Results: We included 260 patients in the normal procalcitonin group and 397 patients in the high procalcitonin group. The mean age was 55 years and 49% were females. A higher number of patients in the elevated procalcitonin group required ICU admission (32.7% vs. 16.2%, p < 0.001) and IMV (27.2% vs. 13.5%, p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in the elevated procalcitonin group (18.9% vs. 8.5%, p < 0.001). After adjusting for other covariates, procalcitonin > 0.05 ng/mL was an independent predictor of progression to IMV (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.08-2.71; p = 0.022), ICU admission (OR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.13-2.66; p = 0.011), and in-hospital mortality (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.14-3.47; p = 0.015). An elevated procalcitonin level was the strongest predictor of in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: Measurement of procalcitonin can have a prognostic role among COVID-19 patients. The admission procalcitonin level can identify patients at risk of ICU admission, progression to IMV, and in-hospital mortality.

PMID:36295550 | DOI:10.3390/medicina58101389

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