Is SARS-CoV-2 viral load a predictor of mortality in COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome patients?

Dogan L., Allahverdiyeva A., ÖNEL M., MEŞE S., SAKA ERSİN E., ANAKLI İ., ...More

Journal of International Medical Research, vol.50, no.11, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/03000605221137443
  • Journal Name: Journal of International Medical Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: coronavirus disease, cycle threshold, Inflammation, intensive care unit, mortality, viral load
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


© The Author(s) 2022.Objective: Viral load varies during infection and is higher during the initial stages of disease. Given the importance of the intensive care unit (ICU) in the late stages of COVID-19 infection, analyzing cycle threshold values to detect viral load upon ICU admission can be a clinically valuable tool for identifying patients with the highest mortality risk. Methods: This was a retrospectively designed study. Patients older than 18 years who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 PCR and had a PaO2/FiO2 ratio <200 were included in the study. The patient population was divided into two groups: survivors and non-survivors. Results: Two hundred patients were included in the study. In non-survivors, age, relevant ICU admission scores, and procalcitonin levels were significantly higher whereas PaO2/FiO2 ratios and cycle threshold levels were significantly lower than in survivors. Conclusion: Viral load at ICU admission has significant prognostic value. In combination with age, comorbidities, and severity scores, viral load may assist clinicians in identifying individuals who need more intensive monitoring. Increased awareness may improve outcomes by allowing the more effective monitoring and treatment of patients. More prospective studies are needed to determine how a high viral load worsens disease and how to avoid irreversible results.