Association between SARS-CoV-2 Cycle Threshold Values and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Vishal P. Shah, Wigdan H. Farah, James C. Hill, Leslie C. Hassett, Matthew J. Binnicker, Joseph D. Yao, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Cycle threshold (CT) values are correlated with the amount of viral nucleic acid in a sample and may be obtained from some qualitative real-time polymerase chain reaction tests used for diagnosis of most patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, CT values cannot be directly compared across assays, and they must be interpreted with caution as they are influenced by sample type, timing of sample collection, and assay design. Presently, the correlation between CT values and clinical outcomes is not well understood. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies through April 19, 2021, that reported an association between CT values and hospitalization, disease severity, and mortality in patients≥18 years old with SARS-CoV-2. A meta-analysis of 7 studies showed no significant difference in mean CT values between hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients. Among hospitalized patients, those with CT values <25 had a high risk of more severe disease and mortality than patients with CT values>30 (odds ratio [OR], 2.31; 95% CI, 1.70 to 3.13; and OR, 2.95; 95% CI, 2.19 to 3.96; respectively). The odds of increased disease severity and mortality were less pronounced in patients with CT values of 25-30 compared with>30.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofab453
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Keywords

  • clinical outcomes
  • COVID-19
  • cycle threshold
  • meta-analysis
  • prognosis
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology

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