Background: Several biomarkers have been identified to predict the outcome of COVID-19 severity, but few data are available regarding sex differences in their predictive role. Aim of this study was to identify sex-specific biomarkers of severity and progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19. Methods: Plasma levels of sex hormones (testosterone and 17β-estradiol), sex-hormone dependent circulating molecules (ACE2 and Angiotensin1-7) and other known biomarkers for COVID-19 severity were measured in male and female COVID-19 patients at admission to hospital. The association of plasma biomarker levels with ARDS severity at admission and with the occurrence of respiratory deterioration during hospitalization was analysed in aggregated and sex disaggregated form. Results: Our data show that some biomarkers could be predictive both for males and female patients and others only for one sex. Angiotensin1-7 plasma levels and neutrophil count predicted the outcome of ARDS only in females, whereas testosterone plasma levels and lymphocytes counts only in males. Conclusions: Sex is a biological variable affecting the choice of the correct biomarker that might predict worsening of COVID-19 to severe respiratory failure. The definition of sex specific biomarkers can be useful to alert patients to be safely discharged versus those who need respiratory monitoring.
Pagano, M.T., Peruzzu, D., Busani, L., Pierdominici, M., Ruggieri, A., Antinori, A., et al. (2021). Predicting respiratory failure in patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 by admission sex-specific biomarkers. BIOLOGY OF SEX DIFFERENCES, 12(1), 63 [10.1186/s13293-021-00407-x].