The De Ritis ratio as prognostic biomarker of in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients

Angelo Zinellu, Francesco Arru, Andrea De Vito, Alessandro Sassu, Giovanni Valdes, Valentina Scano, Elisabetta Zinellu, Roberto Perra, Giordano Madeddu, Ciriaco Carru, Pietro Pirina, Arduino Mangoni, Sergio Babudieri, Alessandro Fois

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Increased concentrations of serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) are common in COVID‐19 patients. However, their capacity to predict mortality, particularly the AST/ALT ratio, commonly referred to as the De Ritis ratio, is unknown. We investigated the association between the De Ritis ratio on admission and in‐hospital mortality in 105 consecutive patients with coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID‐19) admitted to three COVID‐19 referral centres in Sardinia, Italy. The De Ritis ratio was significantly lower in survivors than nonsurvivors (median: 1.25; IQR: 0.91‐1.64 vs 1.67; IQR: 1.38‐1.97, P = .002) whilst there were no significant between‐group differences in ALT and AST concentrations. In ROC curve analysis, the AUC value of the De Ritis ratio was 0.701 (95% CI 0.603‐0.787, P = .0006) with sensitivity and specificity of 74% and 70%, respectively. Kaplan‐Meier survival curves showed a significant association between the De Ritis ratio and mortality (logrank test P = .014). By contrast, no associations were observed between the ALT and AST concentrations and mortality (logrank test P = .83 and P = .62, respectively). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, the HR in patients with De Ritis ratios ≥1.63 (upper tertile of this parameter) remained significant after adjusting for age, gender, smoking status, cardiovascular disease, intensity of care, diabetes, respiratory diseases, malignancies and kidney disease (HR: 2.46, 95% CI 1.05‐5.73, P = .037). Therefore, the De Ritis ratio on admission was significantly associated with in‐hospital mortality in COVID‐19 patients. Larger studies are required to confirm the capacity of this parameter to independently predict mortality in this group.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13427
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
Early online date11 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • ALT
  • AST
  • COVID-19
  • De Ritis ratio


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