Anna Sjöström, a researcher at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will be defending her thesis titled “Severe COVID-19 and routine biomarker patterns” on November 24, 2023. In her groundbreaking work, she delves into the impact of severe COVID-19 on routine blood tests, with a particular focus on coagulation, fluid balance, and kidney function dynamics and patterns.
One of the key findings of Sjöström’s research is that D-dimer levels and platelet counts serve as crucial markers of severity in COVID-19. As the study progressed, the researchers observed a decline in D-dimer levels and an increase in platelet counts, coinciding with a decrease in thrombosis burden and deaths. The implementation of higher doses of anticoagulation for severe COVID-19 patients played a role in these positive outcomes.
Additionally, Sjöström’s studies highlighted the common occurrence of hyponatremia (low sodium levels) upon hospital admission for patients with severe COVID-19. However, over time, many patients also developed hypernatremia (high sodium levels), which was associated with a higher risk of death. The analysis of electrolyte and acid-base markers revealed distinct patterns in patients with varying degrees of hypernatremia. Moreover, the research suggests that individuals with moderate/severe COVID-19 may experience vasopressin depletion, leading to the development of hypernatremia caused by central diabetes insipidus.
The study also shed light on the differences between estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values calculated using creatinine and Cystatin C in severe COVID-19 cases. Over the course of the disease, the discrepancy between these markers worsened, with a significant difference indicating a higher likelihood of severe disease and death.
The implications of Sjöström’s research are far-reaching. Understanding the patterns and trends of routine blood tests can significantly enhance the prognosis assessment for severe COVID-19 patients. Even subtle changes within the reference intervals of these tests can provide valuable prognostic information. Furthermore, the findings open avenues for further research, exploring the use of extensive data derived from routine blood samples for diagnosis, risk assessment, and prognosis in various patient groups.
Moving forward, Sjöström aims to continue her work as a specialist doctor at the Karolinska University Laboratory while focusing on biomarker research where routine blood tests play a central role. The ultimate goal is to leverage the vast amount of data generated from these tests to facilitate efficient prognosis, risk assessment, and diagnosis in larger patient populations.
– Karolinska Institutet: openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/48787
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the focus of Anna Sjöström’s thesis?
Anna Sjöström’s thesis titled “Severe COVID-19 and routine biomarker patterns” explores how severe COVID-19 affects routine blood tests, specifically analyzing patterns and dynamics related to coagulation, fluid balance, and kidney function.
2. What are the key findings of the research?
The research findings indicate that D-dimer levels and platelet counts are important markers of severity in COVID-19. Additionally, the study highlights the prevalence of hyponatremia and the development of hypernatremia over time, with hypernatremia associated with a higher risk of death. The research also uncovers differences between estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values calculated using creatinine and Cystatin C in severe COVID-19 cases.
3. How can this new knowledge improve people’s health?
Understanding the trends and dynamics of routine blood tests in severe COVID-19 patients can aid in assessing prognosis. Even minor changes within the reference intervals of these tests can provide valuable prognostic information. This knowledge can also be applied to other datasets, opening up possibilities for further research.
4. What are Anna Sjöström’s future ambitions?
Anna Sjöström’s ambition is to continue combining her role as a specialist doctor at the Karolinska University Laboratory with biomarker research that focuses on the central role of routine blood tests. She aspires to efficiently utilize the vast amount of data generated from routine blood samples for prognosis, risk assessment, and diagnosis in larger patient groups.