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J Heart Lung Transplant ; 41(4): 458-466, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587721


BACKGROUND: As a marker of underlying lung allograft injury, donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) may be used to identify episodes of acute allograft injury in lung transplant recipients. We investigated the utility of dd-cfDNA to monitor subjects at risk of acute rejection or infection in routine clinical practice. METHODS: This multicenter, retrospective cohort study collected data from lung transplant recipients within 3 years of transplant at 4 centers between March 24, 2020 and September 1, 2020. During this period, as part of routine care during the COVID-19 pandemic, these centers implemented a home-based surveillance program using plasma dd-cfDNA in preference to surveillance bronchoscopy. Dd-cfDNA was used to detect acute lung allograft dysfunction (ALAD) - a composite endpoint of acute rejection and infection. dd-cfDNA levels in patients with ALAD were compared to stable patients. The performance characteristics of dd-cfDNA ≥ 1.0% to detect ALAD were estimated. RESULTS: A total of 175 patients underwent 380 dd-cfDNA measurements, of which 290 were for routine surveillance purposes. dd-cfDNA was higher in patients with ALAD than stable patients (Median (IQR) 1.7% (0.63, 3.1) vs 0.35% (0.22, 0.79), p < 0.001). As an indication of underlying ALAD during surveillance testing, the estimated sensitivity of dd-cfDNA ≥1% was 73.9%, specificity of 87.7%, positive predictive value of 43.4% and negative predictive value of 96.5%. CONCLUSIONS: dd-cfDNA identified acute lung allograft dysfunction in asymptomatic lung transplant patients that may not have been identified by using a clinically indicated biopsy strategy alone. dd-cfDNA <1.0% may be useful in ruling out acute rejection and infection, supporting its use as a potential noninvasive marker for surveillance monitoring.

COVID-19 , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids , Kidney Transplantation , Allografts , Graft Rejection/genetics , Humans , Lung , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
Biomedicines ; 9(9)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374291


A complex interplay exists between plasma lipoproteins and inflammation, as evidenced from studies on atherosclerosis. Alterations in plasma lipoprotein levels in the context of infectious diseases, particularly respiratory viral infections, such as SARS-CoV-2, have become of great interest in recent years, due to their potential utility as prognostic markers. Patients with severe COVID-19 have been reported to have low levels of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol, but elevated levels of triglycerides. However, a detailed characterization of the particle counts and sizes of the different plasma lipoproteins in patients with COVID-19 has yet to be reported. In this pilot study, NMR spectroscopy was used to characterize lipoprotein particle numbers and sizes, and various metabolites, in 32 patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit. Our study revealed markedly reduced HDL particle (HDL-P) numbers at presentation, especially low numbers of small HDL-P (S-HDL-P), and high counts of triglyceride-rich lipoprotein particle (TRL-P), particularly the very small and small TRL subfractions. Moreover, patients with severe COVID-19 were found to have remarkably elevated GlycA levels, and elevated levels of branched-chain amino acids and beta-hydroxybutyrate. Finally, we detected elevated levels of lipoproteins X and Z in most participants, which are distinct markers of hepatic dysfunction, and that was a novel finding.

JCI Insight ; 6(7)2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112383


INTRODUCTIONThe clinical course of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is heterogeneous, ranging from mild to severe multiorgan failure and death. In this study, we analyzed cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as a biomarker of injury to define the sources of tissue injury that contribute to such different trajectories.METHODSWe conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study to enroll patients with COVID-19 and collect plasma samples. Plasma cfDNA was subject to bisulfite sequencing. A library of tissue-specific DNA methylation signatures was used to analyze sequence reads to quantitate cfDNA from different tissue types. We then determined the correlation of tissue-specific cfDNA measures to COVID-19 outcomes. Similar analyses were performed for healthy controls and a comparator group of patients with respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.RESULTSWe found markedly elevated levels and divergent tissue sources of cfDNA in COVID-19 patients compared with patients who had influenza and/or respiratory syncytial virus and with healthy controls. The major sources of cfDNA in COVID-19 were hematopoietic cells, vascular endothelium, hepatocytes, adipocytes, kidney, heart, and lung. cfDNA levels positively correlated with COVID-19 disease severity, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer. cfDNA profile at admission identified patients who subsequently required intensive care or died during hospitalization. Furthermore, the increased cfDNA in COVID-19 patients generated excessive mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) in renal tubular cells in a concentration-dependent manner. This mtROS production was inhibited by a TLR9-specific antagonist.CONCLUSIONcfDNA maps tissue injury that predicts COVID-19 outcomes and may mechanistically propagate COVID-19-induced tissue injury.FUNDINGIntramural Targeted Anti-COVID-19 grant, NIH.

COVID-19 , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids , Multiple Organ Failure , Organ Specificity/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomarkers/analysis , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/analysis , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Cohort Studies , DNA Methylation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiple Organ Failure/blood , Multiple Organ Failure/diagnosis , Multiple Organ Failure/etiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , United States/epidemiology