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A descriptive cross-sectional study on Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold level, mortality, and pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome among COVID -19 patients admitted at Philippine Children's Medical Center.


Iris-Jane G. Ravelo,
Cristan Q. Cabanilla

Related Institution

Section of Pulmonology, Department of Pediatric Medicine - Philippine Children's Medical Center

Publication Information

Publication Type
Research Project


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2) is a novel pathogen that has caused a devastating pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold values are inversely related to viral load and are believed to correlate with mortality and severity of the disease; however, there is limited data in children.

Objectives: This study aims to determine the RT-PCR cycle threshold level in relation to mortality and pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (pARDS) among COVID-19 patients admitted at Philippine Children's Medical Center.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on patients with RT-PCR confirmed covid-19 admitted at Philippine Children's Medical Center from September 2020 to June 2021.

Results: 50 nasopharyngeal swab specimens from children admitted for COVID-19 were analyzed. 12 (24%) had acute respiratory distress syndrome. Among the 12 children who had pARDS, six (50%) expired; in those without pARDS, two (5.26%) expired. There was no difference in cycle threshold values between patients who died and who survived, as well as those with or without pARDS.

Conclusions and Recommendations: RT-PCR cycle threshold alone cannot predict mortality and development of pARDS; it can only indicate the presence of infection but not its severity.

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