A simple tool to help ruling-out Covid-19 in the emergency department: derivation and validation of the LDH-CRP-Lymphocyte (LCL) score

Jacopo Davide Giamello, Giulia Paglietta, Giulia Cavalot, Attilio Allione, Sara Abram, Luca Dutto, Sara Bernardi, Emanuele Bernardi, Francesco Tosello, Giuseppe Lauria
2020 Emergency Care Journal  
After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of SARSCoV- 2 infections may gradually decrease in the next months. Given the reduced prevalence of the disease, Emergency Departments (ED) are starting to receive more and more non- Covid19 patients. Thus, a way to quickly discriminate ED patients with potential Covid-19 infection from non-Covid19 patients is needed in order to keep potentially contagious patients isolated while awaiting second-level testing. In this paper, we present the
more » ... we present the derivation and validation of a simple, practical, and cheap score that could be helpful to rule out Covid-19 among ED patients with suspicious symptoms (fever and/or dyspnoea). The LCL score was derived from a cohort of 335 patients coming to the ED of our hospital from March 16th to April 1st, 2020. It was then retrospectively validated in a similar cohort of 173 patients admitted to our ED during April. The score is based on blood values of lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, and lymphocyte count. The LCL score performed well both in the derivation and in the validation cohort, with an AUC respectively of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77 – 0.86) and of 0.71 (95% CI: 0.63 – 0.78), given the difference in Covid- 19 prevalence between the two cohorts (57% vs 41% respectively). An LCL score equal to 0 had a negative predictive value of 0.92 in the derivation cohort and of 0.81 in the validation cohort, with a negative likelihood ratio respectively of 0.08 and 0.36 for Covid- 19 exclusion. This score could, therefore, constitute a useful tool to help physicians manage patients in the ED.
doi:10.4081/ecj.2020.9336 fatcat:mxaivpyucfhgxnpbiqld3hxbii