Laboratory medicine plays an important role in early detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. COVID-19 makes no exception to this rule. Real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) allows direct virus identification, however, the role of laboratory diagnostics goes far beyond this, as further in vitro diagnostic tests are needed to assess the severity of the disease, determine the prognosis, for follow-up, guiding treatment and monitoring therapy.
Based on the available literature on laboratory abnormalities in patients with COVID-19, the IFCC has published an information guide on biochemical monitoring of COVID-19 patients.
One of the topics in the guide focuses on the biochemical monitoring of COVID-19 patients through in vitro diagnostic tests. A number of established in vitro diagnostic tests have been associated to an adverse progression of COVID-19 and may provide important prognostic information. The table below is an extract from the "IFCC Information Guide". It gives advice on recommended tests in patients with COVID-19, shows the most important laboratory anomalies and their possible clinical indications.