The Infectious Diseases Society of America has identified the use of SARS-CoV-2 genomic load for prognostication purposes as a key research question. We designed a retrospective cohort study that included adult patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who had at least 2 positive nasopharyngeal tests at least 24 hours apart to study the correlation between the change in the genomic load of SARS-CoV-2, as reflected by the Cycle threshold (Ct) value of the RT-PCR, with change in clinical status. The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score was used as a surrogate for patients’ clinical status. Among 457 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia between 3/31/2020-4/10/2020, we identified 42 patients who met the inclusion criteria. The median initial SOFA score was 2 (IQR 2-3). 20 out of 42 patients had a lower SOFA score on their subsequent tests. We identified a statistically significant inverse correlation between the change in SOFA score and change in the Ct value with a decrease in SOFA score by 0.05 (SE 0.02; p<0.05) for an increase in Ct values by 1. This correlation was independent of the duration of symptoms. Our findings suggest that an increasing Ct value in sequential tests may be of prognostic value for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia.

References

PubMed