Novel Coronavirus Infection: A Review on Haematological Markers of Disease Severity EE01-EE04
Dr. Angela Ogechukwu Ugwu,
Department of Haematology and Immunology, Ituku/Ozalla/Enugu State, Nigeria.
The Corornavirus Disease (COVID-19) virus infection has a wide range of presentation- asymptomatic, mild, severe and critical forms that often lead to death from respiratory failure. There is a strong relationship between the severity of COVID-19 infection and some haematological parameters. Patients often present with lymphocytopenia at diagnosis despite having a normal total white cell count. The degree of lymphocytopenia could predict the progression to pneumonia and subsequent need for ventilator support due to respiratory failure. Apart from lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia has been linked with increased severity of COVID-19 symptoms. The lymphocyte-platelet ratio has been found to a better marker for disease severity than isolated lymphocytopenia or thrombocytopenia. COVID-19 patients have been found to be at increased risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). There is elevation of D-dimers, abnormalities of the Prothrombin Time (PT) and activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT) among hospitalised COVID-19 patients. This has necessitated the use of prophylactic anticoagulation even in the early phases of the infection.