To determine the diagnostic value of hematologic markers for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and explore their relationship with disease severity.
Subjects included 190 COVID-19 patients, 190 healthy subjects, and 105 influenza pneumonia (IP) patients. COVID-19 patients were divided into the ARDS and non-ARDS groups. Routine blood examination, biochemistry indicator, days in hospital, body temperature, pneumonia severity index (PSI), CURB-65, and MuLBSTA were recorded. Correlations between variables were assessed using Spearman’s correlation analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to study the accuracy of the various diagnostic tests.
Compared with healthy subjects, COVID-19 patients had lower white blood cell (WBC), lymphocyte, platelet, and hemoglobin levels; higher percentages of neutrophils and monocytes; lower percentages of lymphocytes and higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR), and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) values (P < .05). COVID-19 patients had higher WBC and neutrophil levels and lower percentages of lymphocytes compared to IP (P < .05). ROC curve analysis revealed that MLR had a high diagnostic value in differentiating COVID-19 patients from healthy subjects, but not from IP patients. NLR showed significant positive correlations with PSI, CURB-65, and MuLBSTA. Lymphocyte count was lower in the ARDS group and yielded a higher diagnostic value than the other variables.
Monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio showed an acceptable efficiency to separate COVID-19 patients from healthy subjects, but failed to rule out IP patients. NLR may be a reliable marker to evaluate the disease severity of COVID-19. Lymphocyte count may be useful to establish the early diagnosis of ARDS in the COVID-19 patients.

© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis Published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.