London, 17 October (IANS): In the fight against the novel coronavirus, scientists have developed a score that can accurately predict which patients will develop a severe form of Covid-19.
The measurement, called the Dublin-Boston Score, is designed to enable clinicians to make more informed decisions as they identify patients who can benefit from therapies like steroids and ICU admission.
Up until this study, no Covid-19-specific prognostic values were available to guide clinical decision-making.
According to the results published in the journal EBioMedicine, the Dublin-Boston Score can now accurately predict how severe the infection will be on day 7 after the patient’s blood was measured for the first four days.
“The Dublin-Boston Score is easy to calculate and can be applied to all hospitalized Covid-19 patients,” said study author Gerry McElvaney of RCSI University in Ireland.
The blood test measures the levels of two molecules that send messages to the body’s immune system and control inflammation.
One of these molecules, interleukin (IL) -6, is anti-inflammatory and another, called IL-10, is anti-inflammatory. The levels of both are changed in severe Covid-19 patients.
Based on the changes in the ratio of these two molecules over time, the researchers developed a scoring system in which every 1 point increase was associated with a 5.6-fold increased chance of a more serious outcome.
“A more informed forecast could help determine when to escalate or de-escalate care, a key component of efficiently allocating resources during the current pandemic,” said McElvaney.
“The score can also play a role in assessing whether new therapies to reduce inflammation in Covid-19 are actually beneficial,” added McElvaney.
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