Unrecognized Driver of Severe COVID-19? – Study Findings

Andrea Eberly, MD, MS, FAAEMClinical Pearls, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Guideline Knowledge Check, Internal Medicine, Medical News, Nurse Practitioner, Nursing RN/PN, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Physician Assistant, Urgent Care

Unrecognized Backseat Driver of Severe COVID-19 Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Study Findings

Unrecognized Driver of Severe COVID-19? - Study Findings Q&A Case

Try this free COVID-19 Case Q&A courtesy of Med-Challenger.

In December 2021, an interesting article was published that explored the scientific plausibility of a possibly under-recognized contributor to severe COVID-19. What is this trigger (which is easily tested for in the emergency department)?

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Try this case and test your knowledge of this possibly unrecognized driver of severe COVID-19.

A 68-year-old female presents on day 8 of her confirmed COVID-19 illness with a complaint of sudden, significant worsening of all her symptoms.

She is moderately overweight (175 lbs. per her statement) with a history of well-controlled hypertension and diet-controlled metabolic syndrome.

She is obviously ill and will require hospitalization.


According to a recent article, what lab could be ordered at the time of presentation that might uncover the presence of a possible – and treatable – trigger for severe COVID-19?

Answer Options:

Procalcitonin (PCT)

Rhinovirus titers

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM and IgG levels

See the Answer:

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