Galectin-3: a prognostic biomarker in patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory failure
Galectin-3 can provide important prognostic information in patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory failure, according to a study published in the Journal of Respiratory Medicine.
Galectin-3 is β-galactoside-binding lectin with several roles in immune-inflammatory response. Recently, Galectin-3, a β-galactoside-binding lectin, has raised some interest as a potential marker of lung damage and a possible therapeutic target in COVID-19 disease.
Galectin-3 has pleiotropic effects on the immune response: it modulates immune cells lifecycle, angiogenesis and reparative response after lung injury. To date, there is no evidence of Galectin-3 role as a prognostic biomarker in COVID-19 disease.
AndreaPortacci and colleagues from the Institute of Respiratory Disease, Cardio-Thoracic Department, University of Medicine, Bari, Italy aimed to clarify the prognostic role of Galectin-3 in patients with COVID 19 acute respiratory failure.
The team of investigators enrolled 156 consecutive patients with COVID-19 disease. Routine laboratory test, arterial blood gas, chest X-ray or Computed Tomography and Galectin-3 dosage were performed.
The primary outcome was to assess Galectin-3 predictive power for 30-day mortality. Secondary outcomes were 30-day Intensive Care Unit admission and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome stratification according to Galectin-3 dosage.
The authors performed Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests for continuous variables comparison. Fisher's exact test or Chi-square test were used for categorical variables analysis.
Receiver Operating Characteristic curves estimated Galectin-3 predictive power for the endpoints. With a fixed cut-off of 35.3 ng/ml, Kaplan-Meier with Log-Rank test and Cox Regression were performed to assess mortality and Intensive Care Unit admission risk.
The findings of the study revealed that Galectin-3 correlated with many other prognostic predictors tested in the present analysis. Moreover, patients with serum levels of Galectin-3 above 35.3 ng/ml had increased risk for mortality, Intensive Care Unit admission and severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
As a result, the authors concluded that Galectin-3 can be used as a predictor of mortality, Intensive Care Unit access and ARDS stratification in patients with COVID 19 acute respiratory failure.
They further inferred that increased Galectin- 3 serum levels are associated with higher risk of death, ICU access and severe ARDS development.
Dr. Nandita Mohan
BDS, MDS( Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry)