Objectives: D-dimer elevations, suggesting a pro-thrombotic state and coagulopathy, predict adverse outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the clinical significance of other coagulation markers, particularly the international normalized ratio (INR), is not well established. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the INR in COVID-19. Methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus, between January 2020 and February 2021, for studies reporting INR values, measures of COVID-19 severity, and mortality (PROSPERO registration number:CRD42021241468). Results: Thirty-eight studies in 7440 COVID-19 patients with low disease severity or survivor status during follow up (50 % males, mean age 57 years) and 2331 with high severity or non-survivor status (60 % males, mean age 69 years) were identified. The INR was significantly prolonged in patients with severe disease or non-survivor status than in patients with mild disease or survivor status (standard mean difference, SMD, 0.60; 95 % confidence interval, CI 0.42 to 0.77; p < 0.001). There was extreme between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 90.2 %; p < 0.001). Sensitivity analysis, performed by sequentially removing each study and re-assessing the pooled estimates, showed that the magnitude and direction of the effect size was not modified. The Begg's and Egger's t-tests did not show publication bias. In meta-regression, the SMD of the INR was significantly associated with C-reactive protein (p = 0.048) and D-dimer (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Prolonged INR values were significantly associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality. Both INR prolongation and D-dimer elevations can be useful in diagnosing COVID-19-associated coagulopathy and predicting clinical outcomes.
- COVID-19 severity
- International normalized ratio