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posted on 17.07.2020, 04:37 by Zeming Liu, Jinpeng Li, Danyang Chen, Rongfen Gao, Wen Zeng, Sichao Chen, Yihui Huang, Jianglong Huang, Wei Long, Man Li, Liang Guo, Xinghuan Wang, Xiaohui Wu
Background

Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine, has been reported to be associated with disease severity and mortality in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Yet, dynamic changes in IL-6 levels and their prognostic value as an indicator of lung injury in COVID-19 patients have not been fully elucidated.

Objective

To validate whether IL-6 levels are associated with disease severity and mortality and to investigate whether dynamic changes in IL-6 levels might be a predictive factor for lung injury in COVID-19 patients.

Methods

This retrospective, single-center study included 728 adult COVID-19 patients and used data extracted from electronic medical records for analyses.

Results

The mortality rate was higher in the elevated IL-6 group than in the normal IL-6 group (0.16 vs 5%). Cox proportional hazards and logistic regression analyses for survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 10.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09–99.23; p = 0.042) and disease severity (adjusted odds ratio, 3.56; 95% CI, 2.06–6.19; p < 0.001) revealed similar trends. Curve-fitting analyses indicated that patient computed tomography (CT) scores peaked on days 22 and 24. An initial decline in IL-6 levels on day 16 was followed by resurgence to a peak, nearly in tandem with the CT scores.

Conclusion

Increased IL-6 level may be an independent risk factor for disease severity and in-hospital mortality and dynamic IL-6 changes may serve as a potential predictor for lung injury in Chinese COVID-19 patients. These findings may guide future treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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