Comparison of Lymphocyte-CRP ratio to conventional inflammatory markers for predicting clinical outcomes in COVID-19

Alexander Qichen Liu, Robert Hammond, Kenneth Chan, Chukwugozie Chukwuenweniwe, Rebecca Johnson, Duaa Khair, Eleanor Duck, Oluwaseun Olubodun, Kristian Barwick, Winston Banya, James Stirrup, Peter Duncan Donnelly, Juan Carlos Kaski, Anthony R Coates*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: In COVID-19 patients, lymphocyte–CRP ratio (LCR) is a promising biomarker for predicting adverse clinical outcomes. How well LCR performs compared to conventional inflammatory markers for prognosticating COVID-19 patients remains unclear, which hinders the clinical translation of this novel biomarker.

Methods: In a cohort of COVID-19 inpatients, we characterised the clinical applicability of LCR by comparing its prognostic value against conventional inflammatory markers for predicting inpatient mortality and a composite of mortality, invasive/non-invasive ventilation and intensive care unit admissions.

Results: Of the 413 COVID-19 patients, 100 (24%) patients suffered inpatient mortality. On Receiver Operating Characteristics analysis, LCR performed similarly to CRP for predicting mortality (AUC 0.74 vs. 0.71, p = 0.049) and the composite endpoint (AUC 0.76 vs. 0.76, p = 0.812). LCR outperformed lymphocyte counts (AUC 0.74 vs. 0.66, p = 0.002), platelet counts (AUC 0.74 vs. 0.61, p = 0.003) and white cell counts (AUC 0.74 vs. 0.54, p < 0.001) for predicting mortality. On Kaplan–Meier analysis, patients with a low LCR (below a 58 cut-off) had worse inpatient survival than patients with other LCR values (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: LCR appears comparable to CRP, but outperformed other inflammatory markers, for prognosticating COVID-19 patients. Further studies are required to improve the diagnostic value of LCR to facilitate clinical translation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number909
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2023


  • Lymphocyte–CRP ratio
  • Coronavirus disease 19
  • C-reactive protein
  • Risk stratification
  • Prognostic risk
  • COVID-19


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