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Volume 10, Number 9—September 2004

Research

Viral Loads in Clinical Specimens and SARS Manifestations

I.F.N. Hung*, V.C.C. Cheng*, A.K.L. Wu†, B.S.F. Tang*, K.H. Chan*, C.M. Chu‡, M.M.L. Wong§, W.T. Hui*, L.L.M. Poon*, D.M.W. Tse§, K.S. Chan‡, P.C.Y. Woo*, S.K.P. Lau*, J.S.M. Peiris*, and K.Y. Yuen*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Queen Mary Hospital at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), People’s Republic of China; †Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China; ‡United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China; §Caritas Medical Centre, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China

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Table 4

Correlation of RT-qPCR clinical specimens taken during days 10 to 15 and laboratory values in 154 patients with SARSa

Specimen Lymphopenia
Hepatic dysfunction
Abnormal urinalysis results
Y N p value; OR (CI) Y N p value; OR (CI) Y N p value; OR (CI)
NPA (n = 142)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 60) 56 4 0.8 40 20 < 0.01; 2.5 (1.2-5.2) 43 17 0.07
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 82) 70 12 38 44 52 30
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL) 0 0 0.3 2.7 0 < 0.01 0 0 0.1
Serum (n = 53)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 22) 20 2 0.7 12 10 1 18 4 1
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 31) 26 5 19 12 26 5
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL) 0 0 0.4 0 0 0.9 0 0 0.5
Stool (n = 94)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 82) 75 7 0.2 46 36 0.1 62 20 0.2
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 12) 9 3 4 8 7 5
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL) 7.2 8.2 0.5 7.7 6.6 < 0.01 7.6 3.1 < 0.01
Urine (n = 111)
RT-qPCR (+) (n = 32) 29 3 0.7 20 12 0.2 29 3 < 0.01; 7.2 (1.6–32.9)
RT-qPCR (–) (n = 79) 69 10 38 41 50 29
Median viral load 
 (log10 copies/mL) 0 0 0.3 0 0 0.2 0 0 < 0.01

aRT-qPCR, quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome; Y, yes; N, no; OR, odds ratio; CI, 95% confidence interval; NPA, nasopharyngeal aspirates.

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