OBJECTIVE: Since the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the polymerase chain reaction technique (RT-PCR) has become the fundamental method for diagnosing the disease in its acute phase . The objective is to describe the demand-based series of RT-PCR determinations received at a Microbiology Service at a third-level reference hospital for a health area for three months spanning from the onset of the epidemic by SARS-CoV-2 .
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the total of the RT-PCR requested in the Microbiology Service analyzed from 02/25/2020 to 05/26/2020 (90 days) has been carried out . They have been grouped by epidemiological weeks and by the petitioner service . A descriptive analysis was carried out by age, gender and number of requests for each patient . In the tests carried out, a confidence level of 95% (p <0.05) was considered significant .
RESULTS: A total of 27,106 requests was received corresponding to 22,037 patients . Median age 53.7 (RIC 40.9-71.7) years, women : 61.3% . Proportion of patients with any positive RT-PCR : 14% . Of the total requests for RT-PCR, positive 3,710 . Week 13 had the highest diagnosis performance (39.0 %). The primary care has been the service thar has made the most requests (15,953). Patients with 3 or more RT-PCR : 565, of them , 19 patients had a positive result after previously having a negative one .
CONCLUSIONS: Requests have been increasing depending on the evolution of the epidemic . The RT-PCR has a high diagnostic performance in the phases of highest contagiousness and / or transmissibility of the virus.