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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): 68-75, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292116


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide and has the ability to damage multiple organs. However, information on serum SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid (RNAemia) in patients affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is limited. METHODS: Patients who were admitted to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were tested for SARS-COV-2 RNA in serum from 28 January 2020 to 9 February 2020. Demographic data, laboratory and radiological findings, comorbidities, and outcomes data were collected and analyzed. RESULTS: Eighty-five patients were included in the analysis. The viral load of throat swabs was significantly higher than of serum samples. The highest detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in serum samples was between 11 and 15 days after symptom onset. Analysis to compare patients with and without RNAemia provided evidence that computed tomography and some laboratory biomarkers (total protein, blood urea nitrogen, lactate dehydrogenase, hypersensitive troponin I, and D-dimer) were abnormal and that the extent of these abnormalities was generally higher in patients with RNAemia than in patients without RNAemia. Organ damage (respiratory failure, cardiac damage, renal damage, and coagulopathy) was more common in patients with RNAemia than in patients without RNAemia. Patients with vs without RNAemia had shorter durations from serum testing SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The mortality rate was higher among patients with vs without RNAemia. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we provide evidence to support that SARS-CoV-2 may have an important role in multiple organ damage. Our evidence suggests that RNAemia has a significant association with higher risk of in-hospital mortality.

COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Cohort Studies , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2