This Week In The Bmj

Haematological changes signal outcome in SARS patients

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 19 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:0-a

Abnormal haematological values are common in patients with SARS. In a retrospective analysis of the haematological changes in 153 patients with SARS, Wong and colleagues (p 1358) found that lymphopenia was present in 98%, neutrophilia in 82%, and thrombocytopenia in 87%. Also, low CD4 and CD8 cell counts and a high concentration of lactate dehydrogenase at presentations were associated with adverse outcome. Depletion of lymphocytes, which was found in various lymphoid organs at postmortem examination, may be a good marker of disease activity.