Dec 20, 2020

Routine blood test may predict mortality risk in patients with COVID-19

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A standard test that evaluates blood cells can help identify patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are at an elevated risk for death, according to research published in JAMA Network Open.

“We were surprised to find that one standard test that quantifies the variation in size of red blood cells — called red cell distribution width, or RDW — was highly correlated with patient mortality, and the correlation persisted when controlling for other identified risk factors like patient age, some other lab tests, and some pre-existing illnesses,” Jonathan Carlson, MD, PhD, an instructor in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a press release.

In their cohort study, Carlson and colleagues retrospectively analyzed adult patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted to one of four participating hospitals in the Boston area from March 4 through April 28. As part of standard critical care, all patients had their RDW, absolute lymphocyte count and dimerized plasmin fragment D levels collected daily.

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