Correlation between NEWS, CT Severity Score and RT-PCR Cycle Threshold Value among Mild and Moderate COVID-19 Patients
Dr. Sricharan Vijayakumar,
4/3, Guru Kewal Residency, 12th Cross, 8th Main, Malleswaram, Bengaluru-560003, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: The clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 is supplemented by clinical severity indices. These indices are the National Early Warning Score (NEWS, which aids in risk stratification), CT severity score (radiological severity score), and Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold (Ct value, which provides a semi-quantitative measure of viral load).
Aim: To assess the correlation between NEWS at admission, RT-PCR Ct value and CT severity score in mild and moderate COVID-19 patients.
Methods and Materials: This prospective cohort study was conducted in Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak hospital, New Delhi, from January to June 2021. The study included 50 subjects (25 with mild COVID-19 and 25 with moderate COVID-19). NEWS was calculated at admission and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Ct value was estimated using real-time RT-PCR. CT severity score was calculated based on High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) chest findings. The correlation among the parameters was determined using Pearson correlation formula.
Results: The mean age of subjects in the mild and moderate COVID-19 groups were 49.52 years and 51.84 years, respectively. The mean RT-PCR Ct value of E gene was 24.48 and Rdrp gene was 24.56 in the mild COVID-19 group; while in the moderate group it was 23.72 for both E gene and Rdrp genes. The correlation between NEWS and Ct value of E gene (r-value=-0.06, p-value=0.68), Ct value of Rdrp gene (r-value=-0.03, p-value=0.79) and the correlation between CT severity score and Ct value of E gene (r-value=-0.05, p-value=0.73), Ct value of Rdrp gene (r-value=-0.06, p-value=0.68) was negative and insignificant. The mean CT severity score in mild COVID-19 group was 3.92, and in moderate COVID-19 group was 9.88. A significant positive correlation was found between the CT severity score and NEWS at admission.
Conclusion: The clinical severity of COVID-19 as estimated by NEWS corroborates with CT severity score while the relationship between RT-PCR Ct value and clinicoradiological severity needs to be ascertained by further research.