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American Journal of Translational Research ; 12(10):6954-6964, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-916734


Background: To delineate the clinical characteristics associated with long-term viral shedding (>21 days) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: In this retrospective study, factors associated with long-term (>21 days) severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA shedding were evaluated in a conhort of 609 patients from two hospitals in Wuhan. Results: The median duration of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding was 19 days (interquartile range, 10-28 days) among all patients. There were 42% of patients having prolonged viral shedding time (>21 days), in which the longest viral shedding time was 58 days. When comparing patients with early (≤21 days) and late viral RNA clearance (>21 days), prolonged viral shedding was associated with age <65 (P=0.015), female sex (P=0.028), cough (P=0.025), fatigue (P=0.035), sore throat (P=0.013), aspartate aminotransferase (P=0.038), procalcitonin (P=0.010), albumin (P=0.003), D-dimer (P=0.011), lung involvement (P=0.014), reticular shadow (P<0.001) and lung consolidation (P=0.004). Age range (<65 years) (odds ratio [OR], 1.46 [95% CI, 1.05-2.03]) and female sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.40 [95% CI, 1.00-1.94]) were independent risk factors. Conclusions: Long-term viral shedding (>21 days) is not a rare phenomenon among COVID-19 infectious patients. Age range (<65) and female sex are independent risk factors for long-term viral shedding. Early antiviral treatment should be considered for COVID-19 patients with such risk factors. Further study should be conducted to know the infectivity of patients with long-term viral shedding in order to develop reasonable control measures.