COVID-19 prognosis based on white blood cell (WBC) count


In a recent article posted to the Research Square* preprint server and currently under consideration by the Journal of Inflammation, researchers conducted an observational study to see if there’s a link between white blood cell (WBC) variability and clinical outcomes like deaths and hospital discharge rates in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

COVID-19 is a highly contagious, acute respiratory tract illness that has a high morbidity and fatality rate over the world. As a result of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) evasion of protective host immune mechanisms regulated by WBCs, this condition is characterized by systemic inflammation with an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukins-6 and 10 (IL-6 and IL-10). Due to increased viral spike (S) protein and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding, viral immune evasion increases viral entry into human cells, resulting in increased viral transmission and multiplication.

WBC count is a blood test that counts the number of white blood cells (WBCs). This number is a crucial indicator of inflammation. Increased counts (more than 11,000 WBCs per microliter of blood) may affect COVID-19 patients’ hospital release rates and mortality. As a result, WBC changes could lead to higher clinical severity and serve as a direct indicator of SARS-CoV-2 infection prognosis.

42.2 percent of the 424 COVID-19 hospitalized patients were females, with 60.6 percent being Latino or Hispanic and having comorbidities such as hypertension (57 percent) and diabetes mellitus (35 percent ). Only 46 (10.8 percent) patients died within 28 days, despite the fact that the majority of patients (81.4 percent) were discharged from the hospital. Increased WBC levels, on the other hand, were associated with fewer hospital discharges and more deaths.

After five days in the hospital, median WBC count values were significantly higher and continuously increasing. WBC values were shown to be greater in patients with higher SD values and were not affected by WBC CV values.

The researchers observed that WBC count changes impair clinical outcomes such as severity, mortality, and hospital discharge rates in COVID-19 patients, resulting in a worse prognosis. As a result, healthcare facilities must constantly monitor WBC counts in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in order to respond quickly and effectively to illness complications.

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