Prognostic value of elevated lactate dehydrogenase in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Januar Wibawa Martha, Arief Wibowo, Raymond Pranata
Postgraduate Medical Journal 2021 January 15

PURPOSE: This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the prognostic performance of elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in patients with COVID-19.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed, Embase and EuropePMC on 19 November 2020. The outcome of interest was composite poor outcome, defined as a combined endpoint of mortality, severity, need for invasive mechanical ventilation and need for intensive care unit care. Severity followed the included studies' criteria.

RESULTS: There are 10 399 patients from 21 studies. Elevated LDH was present in 44% (34%-53%) of the patients. Meta-regression analysis showed that diabetes was correlated with elevated LDH (OR 1.01 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.02), p=0.038), but not age (p=0.710), male (p=0.068) and hypertension (p=0.969). Meta-analysis showed that elevated LDH was associated with composite poor outcome (OR 5.33 (95% CI 3.90 to 7.31), p<0.001; I2 : 77.5%). Subgroup analysis showed that elevated LDH increased mortality (OR 4.22 (95% CI 2.49 to 7.14), p<0.001; I2 : 89%). Elevated LDH has a sensitivity of 0.74 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.85), specificity of 0.69 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.78), positive likelihood ratio of 2.4 (95% CI 1.9 to 2.9), negative likelihood ratio of 0.38 (95% CI 0.26 to 0.55), diagnostic OR of 6 (95% CI 4 to 9) and area under curve of 0.77 (95% CI 0.73 to 0.80). Elevated LDH would indicate a 44% posterior probability and non-elevated LDH would in indicate 11% posterior probability for poor prognosis. Meta-regression analysis showed that age, male, hypertension and diabetes did not contribute to the heterogeneity of the analyses.

CONCLUSION: LDH was associated with poor prognosis in patients with COVID-19.


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