Article ID: JJID.2020.463
The prognostic value of interleukin-6 in COVID-19 needs to be clarified. In this retrospective study, COVID-19 patients treated in Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University from Jan 7 to Feb 8, 2020 with measurements of serum IL-6 levels within 1 week after admission were included. Data regarding demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory tests, complications and outcomes were collected and analyzed. Sixty-six patients included (31 females) were divided into normal group (serum IL-6 < 10pg/mL, n=35) and abnormal group (serum IL-6 ≥ 10pg/mL, n=31). Compared with normal group, the incidences of critical cases (P<0.001), ARDS (P=0.001), acute cardiac injury (P=0.002), cardiac insufficiency (P=0.039), mechanical ventilation rate (P=0.002) and the mortality (P=0.021) were significantly increased in abnormal group. Serum IL-6 concentration was an independent predictor for a fatal outcome (P=0.04). The optimal cutoff value of serum IL-6 concentration for predicting fatal outcomes was 26.09 pg/mL (P < 0.001). In COVID-19, elevated serum IL-6 levels were associated with critical illness, usage of mechanical ventilation and complications including heart injury and ARDS, and could predict a fatal outcome. Early detection of serum IL-6 levels after admission would be necessary in COVID-19 patients.