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With the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, identifying case severity has become a critical issue for hospital admission and intensive care treatment. Given that pre-existing comorbidities play a significant role in the severity, emerging evidence indicates coagulopathy becomes an independent condition that causes respiratory distress in COVID-19.
In this metanalysis, relevant literatures reporting D-dimer, a coagulation byproduct, in COVID-19 cases were synthesized and statistically analyzed to test if the D-dimer level can predict case severity and mortality.
The analysis found that D-dimer levels were higher in non-survivors/severe than in survivors/non-severe, (MD 0.64, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.75; participants = 5957, I2 = 98%). Subgroup analysis showed MD between non-survivors and survivors was MD 3.48 μg/mL (95% CI 2.69 to 4.27; participants = 1799; studies = 7; I2 = 86%) with Z-score 8.64, p<0.0001. In meta-regression, a significant correlation was observed between increased plasma mean D-dimer level with increased proportion case severity (P=0.046) and mortality (P=0.009).
Overall, the study found that the D-dimer level index can be a predictor of risk for case severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. The test is rapid and inexpensive and can help clinicians prioritize medical care other than deciding therapeutic options for clinical goals.
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