Anna Sjöström from the research group Experimental and Clinical Neuroendocrinology at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery is set to defend her groundbreaking thesis titled “Severe COVID-19 and routine biomarker patterns” on November 24, 2023, under the supervision of Charlotte Höybye.
The core focus of Sjöström’s thesis revolves around the impact of severe COVID-19 on routine blood tests. Specifically, the research delves into the patterns, dynamics, and trends of blood tests related to coagulation, fluid balance, and kidney function.
One significant finding from the first study indicates that D-dimer levels and platelet counts serve as key markers to gauge the severity of COVID-19. The study revealed that as the daily mean platelet counts increased and the D-dimer levels decreased over time, the burden of thrombosis and mortality rates decreased. This coincided with the administration of a higher dose of anticoagulation for severely ill COVID-19 patients.
Furthermore, Sjöström’s research uncovered that hyponatremia, a condition characterized by low sodium levels, is commonly observed upon hospital admission for patients with severe COVID-19. However, over time, it was found that hypernatremia, an elevated sodium concentration, often developed in these patients. Notably, hypernatremia was more prevalent in severe cases and was associated with a higher risk of death.
Another sub-study emphasized the differences in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) calculations using creatinine and Cystatin C in severe COVID-19 patients. These discrepancies became more pronounced as the disease progressed, and a substantial difference was linked to severe illness and mortality.
The knowledge derived from Sjöström’s research contributes significantly to the field of healthcare by allowing prognostic assessments of severe COVID-19 patients based on the levels and trends of common blood tests. The findings highlight the value of monitoring trends and dynamics, even within reference intervals, to gain meaningful insights into patient prognosis. This understanding can be further applied to diverse datasets, offering opportunities for additional research.
Looking ahead, Sjöström aims to continue her work as a specialist doctor at the Karolinska University Laboratory, focusing on biomarker research that utilizes routine blood tests. She aspires to leverage the vast amount of data generated from these tests to improve prognosis, risk assessment, and diagnosis for various patient groups.
For more information about Sjöström’s research, visit openarchive.ki.se.
What does the thesis focus on?
Sjöström’s thesis is focused on examining how severe COVID-19 affects routine blood tests, specifically exploring patterns, dynamics, and trends related to coagulation, fluid balance, and kidney function.
What are some important findings?
One key finding is that platelet counts and D-dimer levels serve as critical markers indicating the severity of COVID-19. Additionally, the research revealed the common occurrence of hyponatremia at hospital admission for severe COVID-19 patients, which often developed into hypernatremia over time. Discrepancies were also observed in eGFR calculations using creatinine and Cystatin C, with pronounced differences being associated with severe disease and death.
How can this knowledge improve people’s health?
This research provides valuable insights into using common blood tests to assess the prognosis of severe COVID-19 patients. Monitoring trends and dynamics, even within reference intervals, can help healthcare professionals make more accurate prognostic assessments. These findings can also be applied to other datasets, opening avenues for further research.
What are Anna Sjöström’s future ambitions?
Sjöström aims to continue her work as a specialist doctor at the Karolinska University Laboratory, focusing on biomarker research that incorporates routine blood tests. Her ultimate goal is to utilize the vast amount of data generated from these tests to improve prognosis, risk assessment, and diagnosis for various patient groups.