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Iran J Med Sci ; 46(5): 322-338, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819065


BACKGROUND: Several reports have associated the severe Coronavirus disease-2019 (sCOVID-19) with secondary-hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) and proposed utilizing the hemophagocytic syndrome diagnostic score (HScore) for sCOVID-19 patients. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to find the possible association of HScore parameters with severity in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: A systematic search was performed in Medline via PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases using all HScore and COVID-19 keywords. The studies were all from 2020, and the study language was limited to English. The records were screened based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Random/fixed-effect models were employed for meta-analysis, based on the I2 index of parameters. The pooled mean differences were estimated for continuous parameters. The pooled odds-ratio was estimated for fever. The level of significance was set at 0.05. RESULTS: Eighteen studies (comprising 2459 patients) out of 26151 screened studies were included in this meta-analysis. The results showed that the level of leukocyte, neutrophil, aspartate transaminase (AST), ferritin, and fibrinogen were significantly higher in sCOVID-19 patients than in non-severe ones. Significant lower levels of lymphocyte, platelet, and hemoglobin were also found in sCOVID-19 patients than non-severe patients. Fever was nearly associated with two times increased odds of sCOVID-19 (P=0.051). CONCLUSION: Lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, hypohemoglobinemia, hyperferritinemia, high levels of AST, and fever are common features of both sCOVID-19 and HLH. However, the leukocytosis, neutrophilia, and hyperfibrinogenemia found in sCOVID-19 are in contrast with HScore. Conclusively, HScore parameters could be risk factors for sCOVID-19. However, some parameters' roles are contradictory, suggesting the need for further investigation and a new way of HScore interpretation in sCOVID-19 patients.A preprint of this study was published at