Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

Activation of Vasopressin System During COVID-19

June 07, 2021
 

Claudia Gregoriano, Alexandra Molitor, Ellen Haag, Alexander Kutz, Daniel Koch, Sebastian Haubitz, Anna Conen, Luca Bernasconi, Angelika Hammerer-Lercher, Christoph A Fux, Beat Mueller, Philipp Schuetz
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 6, June 2021, bvab045
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab045

Abstract

Background

Activation of the vasopressin system plays a key role for the maintenance of osmotic, cardiovascular, and stress hormone homeostasis during disease. We investigated levels of copeptin, the C-terminal segment of the vasopressin prohormone, that mirrors the production rate of vasopressin in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Methods

We measured levels of copeptin on admission and after days 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 in 74 consecutive hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients and compared its prognostic accuracy to that of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (n = 876) and acute or chronic bronchitis (n = 371) from a previous study by means of logistic regression analysis. The primary endpoint was all-cause 30-day mortality.

Results

Median admission copeptin levels in COVID-19 patients were almost 4-fold higher in nonsurvivors compared with survivors (49.4 pmol/L [iterquartile range (IQR) 24.9–68.9 pmol/L] vs 13.5 pmol/L [IQR 7.0–26.7 pmol/L]), resulting in an age- and gender-adjusted odds ratio of 7.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–40.3), p < 0.03 for mortality. Higher copeptin levels in nonsurvivors persisted during the short-term follow-up. Compared with the control group patients with acute/chronic bronchitis and pneumonia, COVID-19 patients did not have higher admission copeptin levels.

Conclusions

A pronounced activation of the vasopressin system in COVID-19 patients is associated with an adverse clinical course in COVID-19 patients. This finding, however, is not unique to COVID-19 but similar to other types of respiratory infections.

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