The relationship between C-reactive protein and levels of various cytokines in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and correlation analysis

Health Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 7;5(6):e868. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.868. eCollection 2022 Nov.


INTRODUCTION: C-reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines levels could alter in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to the inflammatory response caused by the virus. This analysis aimed to assess the relationship between the CRP levels and the levels of various cytokines in COVID-19 patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched the databases of PubMed, Cochrane, and Web of Science for relevant articles on May 29th, 2021. Applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria, the retrieved records underwent two-phase screenings; first, a title/abstract screening process, and then, a full-text screening to find the eligible studies. Data for study variables were extracted, including the CRP levels and the levels of all reported cytokines. A strong and significant relationship between Interleukins and CRP was defined as: p ≤ 0.05, 0.7 ≤ r ≤ 1.

RESULTS: In this study, 103 studies were included for systematic review and correlation analysis. The aggregate mean and SD of study variables were calculated and reported. The correlation between Interleukins and CRP was measured using correlation coefficient (r). It appeared that interleukin (IL)-10 has a moderate and significant relationship with CRP (p ≤ 0.05, r = 0.472). IL-10 predicted almost 10% of CRP changes.

CONCLUSION: This correlation analysis suggests IL-10 is moderately correlated with CRP levels in patients with COVID-19 infection. A better understanding of the pro-inflammatory markers could contribute to the implementation of therapeutic and preventive approaches. More prospective studies are suggested to explore the relationship between CRP and cytokines as potential markers for the early identification of COVID-19 progression and severity.

PMID:36248353 | PMC:PMC9547116 | DOI:10.1002/hsr2.868


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