Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) accompanies hypercytokinemia, similar to secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH). We aimed to find if HScore could predict disease severity in COVID-19. HScore was calculated in hospitalized children and adult patients with a proven diagnosis of COVID-19. The need for intensive care unit (ICU), hospital length of stay (LOS), and in-hospital mortality were recorded. The median HScore was 43.0 (IQR 0.0-63.0), which was higher in those who needed ICU care (59.7, 95% CI 46.4-72.7) compared to those admitted to non-ICU medical wards (38.8, 95% CI 32.2-45.4; P = 0.003). It was also significantly higher in patients who died of COVID-19 (105.1, 95% CI 53.7-156.5) than individuals who survived (41.5, 95% CI 35.8-47.1; P = 0.005). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that higher HScore was associated with a higher risk of ICU admission (adjusted OR = 4.93, 95% CI 1.5-16.17, P = 0.008). The risk of death increased by 20% for every ten units increase in HScore (adjusted OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00-1.04, P = 0.009). Time to discharge was statistically longer in high HScore levels than low levels (HR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.24-0.69). HScore is much lower in patients with severe COVID-19 than sHLH. Higher HScore is associated with more ICU admission, more extended hospitalization, and a higher mortality rate. A modified HScore with a new cut-off seems more practical in predicting disease severity in patients with severe COVID-19.
© 2021. The Author(s).