Background: This study aimed to explore the significance of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), D-dimer, and CT score in evaluating the severity and prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: Patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were retrospectively enrolled. The baseline data, laboratory findings, chest computed tomography (CT) results evaluated by CT score on admission, and clinical outcomes were collected and compared. Logistic regression was used to assess the independent relationship between the baseline level of the four indicators (NLR, LDH, D-dimer, and CT score) and the severity of COVID-19.

Results: Among the 432 patients, 125 (28.94%) and 307 (71.06%) were placed in the severe and non-severe groups, respectively. As per the multivariate logistic regression, high levels of NLR and LDH were independent predictors of severe COVID-19 (OR=2.163; 95% CI=1.162-4.026; p=0.015 for NLR>3.82; OR=2.298; 95% CI=1.327-3.979; p=0.003 for LDH>246 U/L). Combined NLR>3.82 and LDH>246 U/L increased the sensitivity of diagnosis in patients with severe disease (NLR>3.82 [50.40%] vs. combined diagnosis [72.80%]; p=0.0007; LDH>246 [59.2%] vs. combined diagnosis [72.80%]; p<0.0001).

Conclusions: High levels of serum NLR and LDH have potential value in the early identification of patients with severe COVID-19. Moreover, the combination of LDH and NLR can improve the sensitivity of diagnosis.