Machine Learning Highlights Downtrending of COVID-19 Patients with a Distinct Laboratory Profile

He S. Yang, Yu Hou, Hao Zhang, Amy Chadburn, Lars F. Westblade, Richard Fedeli, Peter A.D. Steel, Sabrina E. Racine-Brzostek, Priya Velu, Jorge L. Sepulveda, Michael J. Satlin, Melissa M. Cushing, Rainu Kaushal, Zhen Zhao, Fei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. New York City (NYC) experienced an initial surge and gradual decline in the number of SARS-CoV-2-confirmed cases in 2020. A change in the pattern of laboratory test results in COVID-19 patients over this time has not been reported or correlated with patient outcome. Methods. We performed a retrospective study of routine laboratory and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test results from 5, 785 patients evaluated in a NYC hospital emergency department from March to June employing machine learning analysis. Results. A COVID-19 high-risk laboratory test result profile (COVID19-HRP), consisting of 21 routine blood tests, was identified to characterize the SARS-CoV-2 patients. Approximately half of the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients had the distinct COVID19-HRP that separated them from SARS-CoV-2 negative patients. SARS-CoV-2 patients with the COVID19-HRP had higher SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, determined by cycle threshold values from the RT-PCR, and poorer clinical outcome compared to other positive patients without the COVID12-HRP. Furthermore, the percentage of SARS-CoV-2 patients with the COVID19-HRP has significantly decreased from March/April to May/June. Notably, viral load in the SARS-CoV-2 patients declined, and their laboratory profile became less distinguishable from SARS-CoV-2 negative patients in the later phase. Conclusions. Our longitudinal analysis illustrates the temporal change of laboratory test result profile in SARS-CoV-2 patients and the COVID-19 evolvement in a US epicenter. This analysis could become an important tool in COVID-19 population disease severity tracking and prediction. In addition, this analysis may play an important role in prioritizing high-risk patients, assisting in patient triaging and optimizing the usage of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7574903
JournalHealth Data Science
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 He S. Yang et al. Exclusive Licensee Peking University Health Science Center. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).


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