New CDC guidance provides clinical laboratories with indications of which tests should be ordered for long-haul COVID-19 symptoms
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released long-awaited guidelines outlining treatment recommendations for “Post-COVID Conditions,” also known as long-haul COVID-19. These lingering COVID-19 symptoms affect a portion of patients who have had a COVID-19 infection, and they can last for months, or sometimes indefinitely.
The June 14, 2021, issued CDC guidelines are comprehensive, covering general treatment considerations. They also delve into the nuances of factors that clinical providers should consider. Of particular interest to clinical laboratories, the CDC dedicates an entire section of the guidance to testing that should be performed on patients with long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.
The CDC Recommends Two Sets of Laboratory Tests Be Considered
The first area of long-haul COVID-19-related testing consists of a basic set of relatively routine laboratory tests that should be performed on all long-haul COVID-19 patients. These tests include:
- Complete blood count
- Basic metabolic panel
- Liver function tests
- C-reactive protein
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Free T4
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
The second area of long-haul COVID-19-related testing targets specialized laboratory tests that are based on a patient’s particular complaints. There are four specialized categories that the CDC identifies, including:
- Rheumatological conditions
- Coagulation disorders
- Myocardial injury
- Differentiate symptoms of cardiac versus pulmonary origin
Different sets of tests are recommended for each of these four categories, and the CDC discusses when clinicians should consider each one.
Clinical laboratorians wishing to review the full guidance provided by the CDC can do so here.