Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background: Biochemical parameters, such as C-reactive protein (C-RP), Procalcitonin (PCT), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and Ferritin are associated with COVID-19 severity and prognosis. This trend analysis of COVID-19 prognostic biomarker requisitions is aimed at providing a reflection of the clinical practices adopted amidst the peak of the pandemic. This knowledge of the prognostic biomarkers utilized, will further aid to classify patients based on their risk, for optimal resource allocation and improve outcomes.
Material & methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the clinical chemistry laboratory at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi Pakistan. A team consisting of two clinical chemistry consultants reviewed the COVID-19 prognostic biomarkers tests performance data from March to July 2020 using the integrated laboratory information management system (ILMS). The test statistics of March to July 2020 when COVID-19 cases were on the rise in the country were compared with those of the same months from 2019. The changes in the test groups were expressed in percentages. Microsoft Excel for windows 2019 was used for data analysis.
Results: The total specimens received for testing in 2020 (n = 574,092) showed a percent decline of approximately (-) 33% compared to 2019 (n = 858,756). Contrary to the overall decline in volumes an upward surge was noted for the prognostic biomarkers. From March to July, the highest percent change was noted for LDH (+155.1%), followed by PCT (+66.7.1%), C-RP (+26.5%) and Ferritin (+22.1%) in 2020 compared to the same time frame in 2019. The highest percent change was noted in June.
Conclusion: During the COVID 19 pandemic, a significant increase in utilization of laboratory services was seen for COVID-19 prognostic markers.


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Annals of Medicine and Surgery

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