RWTH Researchers Publish Article on Course of Disease in Covid-19 Patients


Researchers at RWTH Aachen University have published a scientific article on the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.



Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Michael Dreher

Klinikdirektor der Medizinischen Klinik V


+49 241 80 88763



In it, they analyze the course of disease in patients who were admitted to Uniklinik RWTH Aachen in February and March, and thus describe the first cohort of patients in Germany. The focus is on the clinical characteristics and laboratory results of patients with and without acute lung failure, the so-called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Fifty patients were treated, 16 of whom were transferred from other hospitals to Aachen’s University Hospital. The average age of the infected patients was 65 years, and an average of four days had passed between the first symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath and later admission to the University Hospital. The occurrence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is decisive for the course of the disease: 24 intubated patients with ARDS of varying severity were treated in the intensive care unit, 26 spontaneously breathing but oxygen-dependent infected patients without ARDS were treated in isolation on a normal ward. Compared to those without ARDS, patients with ARDS more frequently had a history of respiratory tract infections and were also more frequently overweight. There was no difference in the number of virus particles in the blood of the infected patients, but there were significant differences in the laboratory parameters: ARDS patients had elevated levels of leukocytes, interleukin-6, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase and D-dimers. Patients without ARDS showed elevated inflammation values and had a fever for more than a week while also requiring oxygen during that time.

The German-language publication can be accessed here.