Use of Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte and Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratios in COVID-19

Abigail Sy Chan, Amit Rout


Background: As the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues, prognostic markers are now being identified. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) are easily accessible values that have been known to correlate with inflammation and prognosis in several conditions. We used the available data to identify the association of NLR and PLR with the severity of COVID-19.

Methods: A literature search using EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar for studies reporting the use of NLR and PLR in COVID-19 published until April 28, 2020, was performed. Random effects meta-analysis was done to estimate standard mean difference (SMD) of NLR and PLR values with 95% confidence interval (CI) between severe and non-severe COVID-19 cases.

Results: A total of 20 studies with 3,508 patients were included. Nineteen studies reported NLR values, while five studies reported PLR values between severe and non-severe COVID-19 patients. Higher levels of NLR (SMD: 2.80, 95% CI: 2.12 - 3.48, P < 0.00001) and PLR (SMD: 1.82, 95% CI: 1.03 - 2.61, P < 0.00001)) were seen in patients with severe disease compared to non-severe disease.

Conclusions: NLR and PLR can be used as independent prognostic markers of disease severity in COVID-19.

J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(7):448-453


COVID-19; NLR; PLR; Prognostic markers

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