Diagnostic performance of initial blood urea nitrogen combined with D-dimer levels for predicting in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients.Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Sep; 56(3):106110.IJ
The crude mortality rate in critical pneumonia cases with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reaches 49%. This study aimed to test whether levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in combination with D-dimer were predictors of in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. The clinical characteristics of 305 COVID-19 patients were analysed and were compared between the survivor and non-survivor groups. Of the 305 patients, 85 (27.9%) died and 220 (72.1%) were discharged from hospital. Compared with discharged cases, non-survivor cases were older and their BUN and D-dimer levels were significantly higher (P < 0.0001). Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and multivariable Cox regression analyses identified BUN and D-dimer levels as independent risk factors for poor prognosis. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that elevated levels of BUN and D-dimer were associated with increased mortality (log-rank, P < 0.0001). The area under the curve for BUN combined with D-dimer was 0.94 (95% CI 0.90-0.97), with a sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 91%. Based on BUN and D-dimer levels on admission, a nomogram model was developed that showed good discrimination, with a concordance index of 0.94. Together, initial BUN and D-dimer levels were associated with mortality in COVID-19 patients. The combination of BUN ≥ 4.6 mmol/L and D-dimer ≥ 0.845 μg/mL appears to identify patients at high risk of in-hospital mortality, therefore it may prove to be a powerful risk assessment tool for severe COVID-19 patients.