Elevated Serum IgM Levels Indicate Poor Outcome in Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pneumonia: A Retrospective Case-Control Study
17 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020More...
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia outbreak began in Wuhan and pandemics tend to occur. Although SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins have been detected in serum of COVID-19 patients, their dynamics and association with outcomes have not been characterized.
Methods: A total of 116 hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia and SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins tested in Tongji Hospital were retrospectively investigated. Clinical, laboratory, radiological characteristics and outcomes data were compared between mild-moderate group and died group. Further, a paired case-control study was conducted where each dead case was matched to three mild-moderate patients of similar age.
Findings: Among 116 subjects included, 101 mild-moderate patients survived and 15 cases died. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM levels peaked in forth week after onset of COVID-19 pneumonia, while serum IgG levels increased over 8 weeks. Serum IgM levels were higher in dead patients than mild-moderate patients (p =0.024), but not IgG. Serum IgM levels were negatively correlated with clinical outcome, eosinophil count and albumin levels (r = -0.269, P=0.003; r = -0.188, P = 0.043; and r = -0.198, P=0.033, resp.). The area under the ROC curve (AUC) for IgM antibody was 0.681 (95% CI: 0.517-0.845, P = 0.024). In case-control study paired by age, serum IgM was higher in dead patients than mild-moderate patients (p =0.019), positively correlated with leucocyte count (r = 0.260, P = 0.045), while negatively correlated with clinical outcome and albumin levels (r = -0.337, P=0.008; r = -0.265, P = 0.041). AUC for IgM levels was 0.704 (95% CI: 0.534-0.873, P = 0.019).
Interpretation: These results indicate that dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgM and IgG antibodies was similar with that of SARS-CoV, while elevated serum IgM levels indicate poor outcome in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.
Funding Statement: This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.81702989).
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Ethics Approval Statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of Tongji Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (IRB ID: TJIRB20200343).
Keywords: 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Immunoglobulin
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