Mirza Ayub Baig, M Mohsin Raza, Mougheesa Baig, M Usman Baig.
Serum albumin levels monitoring in ICU in early days and mortality risk association in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 pneumonia.
Pak J Med Sci May ;38(3):612-6.

Objective: To establish correlation between serum albumin during early days of ICU admission and risk of death in COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods: In this retrospective study, we included 76 patients hospitalized in ICU, who stayed for at least four days with COVID-19 pneumonia, from May 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 in Lahore Health Care Hospital and Al-Shafi Hospital. Patients were labelled as COVID-19 pneumonia on radiological basis as bilateral ‘ground-glass opacity’ in lower zones and RT-PCR positive result in nasopharyngeal swab. All patients were oxygen dependent, either on high flow oxygen via non rebreathing mask or invasive positive pressure ventilation support. Serum albumin levels were measured daily from first day to fourth day of ICU admission. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 26 and Microsoft excel 2016. Results: Out of 76 patients of COVID-19 pneumonia admitted in ICU who stayed for more than four days, 38 patients expired. The mean age of all the patients was 58.9±12.56 years, 38(50%) of the patients were ≥60 years and 49 (62%) of them were male. On day four of ICU admission, mean serum albumin of discharged patients was 3.83±0.22 g/dl while mean serum albumin level of expired patients was 2.96±0.46 g/dl. Strong negative correlation (r = -767) was found between decrease in serum albumin level and increase number of deaths from COVID-19 pneumonia. Weak correlation was observed between increase in serum CRP and increase number of deaths in the same patients. Conclusion: Daily monitoring of serum albumin level of COVID-19 pneumonia patients can be used as a biological marker for monitoring of cytokine storm and risk of death in COVID-19 pneumonia.

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