Assessment of DHEAS, cortisol, and DHEAS/cortisol ratio in patients with COVID-19: a pilot study


Tomo S, Banerjee M, Karli S, Purohit P, Mitra P, Sharma P, Garg MK, Kumar B




Hormones (Athens). 2022 Jul 8;1-4.

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Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is observed to be decreased in sepsis and inflammatory conditions. In the present study, we assessed the levels of DHEAS and cortisol and the DHEAS/cortisol ratio and their association with inflammatory markers in patients with COVID-19.


The study recruited 76 RT-PCR-positive COVID-19-positive patients and 79 healthy controls. The blood samples were collected and were analyzed for cortisol and DHEAS.


We observed decreased levels of DHEAS and DHEAS/cortisol ratio and increased levels of cortisol in cases when compared with controls. DHEAS and DHEAS/cortisol ratio showed a decreasing trend with the increase in disease severity.


The present study is the first of its kind comparing DHEAS levels and DHEAS/cortisol ratio in COVID-19 patients and control subjects. DHEAS, with its inhibitory effect on IL6 and activation of Tregs, may play a crucial role in immune defense mechanisms against COVID-19.

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Hellenic Endocrine Society.

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