Ravikumar Gopalakrishnan* and Anusha Ponnusamy


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is highly infectious and contagious. The inflammatory response plays a critical role in COVID-19, and inflammatory cytokine storm increases the severity of COVID-19. However, no reliable indicators are yet available to predict disease severity and progression. The purpose of this study is to identify specific serological indicators that can be used for diagnosis and guidance of treatment decisions. Objective: To investigate the role of IL-6, CRP and PCT as inflammatory indicators in mild and severe cases of COVID-19. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on 256 patients admitted with COVID 19 from October 2020 to January 2021. According to the severity of corona virus disease the patients were divided into mild (n=184) and severe (n =72) groups. Data on demographic characteristics, underlying comorbidities, symptoms, physical and radiological findings and laboratory tests and the levels of IL-6, CRP, and PCT on admission were collected. Results: There were 180 male and 76 female patients and the median age was 56 years. The most common initial symptoms were fever (76 %) and cough (64 %), followed by fatigue, muscle soreness, and chest tightness. The levels of IL-6, CRP and PCT increased in 162 (63.2 %), 192 (75 %), and 124 (48.4 %) patients on admission, respectively. The values of IL-6, CRP and PCT were significantly higher in severe group of COVID 19 patients. Conclusions: The serum levels of IL-6 and CRP have a significant correlation with the severity of COVID-19 and can be used as independent markers to predict disease risk and outcome in patients with COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, C- reactive protein, IL-6, Procalcitonin.

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