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1.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 882870, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855448

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Takayasu's arteritis (TA) is a systemic inflammatory disease that affects aorta and its major branches. There are several cardiac manifestations of TA and an association with Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) - but not coronary vasospasm - has been previously reported. The role of emotional stress in this context is unknown. Case presentation: A 58-year-old Caucasian female elementary school teacher, with a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), severe asymptomatic aortic regurgitation (AR), and TA in remission under corticosteroids, was admitted in the emergency department with worsening chest pain and dyspnea, initiated after a period of intense emotional stress (increased workload during COVID-19 pandemic). Physical examination revealed signs of heart failure (HF) with hemodynamic stability and an early diastolic heart murmur. The electrocardiogram showed sinus tachycardia, T wave inversion in left precordial and lateral leads, and a corrected QT of 487 ms. Laboratorial evaluation presented high values of high-sensitivity troponin I (3494 ng/L) and B-type natriuretic peptide (4759 pg/mL). The transthoracic echocardiogram revealed severe dilation of left ventricle (LV) with moderate systolic dysfunction, due to apical and midventricular akinesia, and severe AR. The coronary angiography showed normal coronary arteries. An acetylcholine provocative test induced spasm of both the left anterior descending and circumflex arteries, accompanied by chest pain and ST depression, completely reverted after intracoronary nitrates administration. The patient was switched to diltiazem and a drug multitherapy for HF was started. A cardiac magnetic resonance revealed severe dilation of the LV, mild apical hypokinesia, improvement of ejection fraction to 53%, signs of myocardial edema and increased extracellular volume in apical and mid-ventricular anterior and anterolateral walls, and absence of myocardial late gadolinium enhancement, compatible with TTS. At discharge, the patient was clinically stable, without signs of HF, and a progressive reduction of troponin and BNP levels was observed. A final diagnosis of TTS and coronary vasospasm in a patient with GAD and TA was done. Discussion: We present the first case of acute HF showing coexistence of TA, TTS and coronary vasospasm. TA is a rare inflammatory disease that can be associated with TTS and coronary vasospasm. Besides that, coronary vasospasm may also be involved in TTS pathophysiology, suggesting a complex interplay between these diseases. Mood disorders and anxiety influence the response to stress, through a gain of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and an increased cardiovascular system sensitivity to catecholamines. Therefore, although the mechanisms behind these three pathologies are not yet fully studied, this case supports the role of inflammatory and psychiatric diseases in TTS and coronary vasospasm.

2.
Eur Heart J Suppl ; 24(Suppl C): C243-C247, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1853029

ABSTRACT

The rate of post-vaccine myocarditis is being studied from the beginning of the massive vaccination campaign against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although a direct cause-effect relationship has been described, in most cases, the vaccine pathophysiological role is doubtful. Moreover, it is not quite as clear as having had a previous myocarditis could be a risk factor for a post-vaccine disease relapse. A 27-year-old man presented to the emergency department for palpitations and pericardial chest pain radiated to the upper left limb, on the 4th day after the third dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. He experienced a previous myocarditis 3 years before, with full recovery and no other comorbidities. Electrocardiogram showed normal atrioventricular conduction, incomplete right bundle branch block, and diffuse ST-segment elevation. A cardiac echo showed lateral wall hypokinesis with preserved ejection fraction. Troponin-T was elevated (160 ng/L), chest X-ray was normal, and the SARS-CoV-2 molecular buffer was negative. High-dose anti-inflammatory therapy with ibuprofen and colchicine was started; in the 3rd day high-sensitivity Troponin I reached a peak of 23000 ng/L. No heart failure or arrhythmias were observed. A cardiac magnetic resonance was performed showing normal biventricular systolic function and abnormal tissue characterization suggestive for acute non-ischaemic myocardial injury (increased native T1 and T2 values, increased signal intensity at T2-weighted images and late gadolinium enhancement, all findings with matched subepicardial distribution) at the level of mid to apical septal, anterior, and anterolateral walls. A left ventricular electroanatomic voltage mapping was negative (both unipolar and bipolar), while the endomyocardial biopsy showed a picture consistent with active myocarditis. The patient was discharged in good clinical condition, on bisoprolol 1.25 mg, ramipril 2.5 mg, ibuprofen 600 mg three times a day, colchicine 0.5 mg twice a day. We presented the case of a young man with history of previous myocarditis, admitted with a non-complicated acute myopericarditis relapse occurred 4 days after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (3rd dose). Despite the observed very low incidence of cardiac complications following BNT162b2 administration, and the lack of a clear proof of a direct cause-effect relationship, we think that in our patient this link can be more than likely. In the probable need for additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses in the next future, studies addressing the risk-benefit balance of this subset of patient are warranted. We described a multidisciplinary management of a case of myocarditis recurrence after the third dose of SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 vaccine.

3.
Circulation ; 145(15): 1123-1139, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute myocarditis (AM) is thought to be a rare cardiovascular complication of COVID-19, although minimal data are available beyond case reports. We aim to report the prevalence, baseline characteristics, in-hospital management, and outcomes for patients with COVID-19-associated AM on the basis of a retrospective cohort from 23 hospitals in the United States and Europe. METHODS: A total of 112 patients with suspected AM from 56 963 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were evaluated between February 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. Inclusion criteria were hospitalization for COVID-19 and a diagnosis of AM on the basis of endomyocardial biopsy or increased troponin level plus typical signs of AM on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. We identified 97 patients with possible AM, and among them, 54 patients with definite/probable AM supported by endomyocardial biopsy in 17 (31.5%) patients or magnetic resonance imaging in 50 (92.6%). We analyzed patient characteristics, treatments, and outcomes among all COVID-19-associated AM. RESULTS: AM prevalence among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was 2.4 per 1000 hospitalizations considering definite/probable and 4.1 per 1000 considering also possible AM. The median age of definite/probable cases was 38 years, and 38.9% were female. On admission, chest pain and dyspnea were the most frequent symptoms (55.5% and 53.7%, respectively). Thirty-one cases (57.4%) occurred in the absence of COVID-19-associated pneumonia. Twenty-one (38.9%) had a fulminant presentation requiring inotropic support or temporary mechanical circulatory support. The composite of in-hospital mortality or temporary mechanical circulatory support occurred in 20.4%. At 120 days, estimated mortality was 6.6%, 15.1% in patients with associated pneumonia versus 0% in patients without pneumonia (P=0.044). During hospitalization, left ventricular ejection fraction, assessed by echocardiography, improved from a median of 40% on admission to 55% at discharge (n=47; P<0.0001) similarly in patients with or without pneumonia. Corticosteroids were frequently administered (55.5%). CONCLUSIONS: AM occurrence is estimated between 2.4 and 4.1 out of 1000 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The majority of AM occurs in the absence of pneumonia and is often complicated by hemodynamic instability. AM is a rare complication in patients hospitalized for COVID-19, with an outcome that differs on the basis of the presence of concomitant pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Myocarditis/diagnosis , Myocarditis/epidemiology , Myocarditis/therapy , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke Volume , Ventricular Function, Left
4.
Eur Respir J ; 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753100

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) oubreak has led to significant restrictions on routine medical care. We conducted a multicenter nationwide survey of PAH patients aiming at determining the consequences of the Governance measures on PAH management and risk of poor outcome in patients with COVID-19. METERIALS AND METHODS: Demographic data, number of in-person visits, 6-min walk and echocardiographic tests, BNP/NT-proBNP tests, WHO functional class assessment, presence of elective and non-elective hospitalisation, need for treatment escalation/initiation, newly diagnosed PAH, incidence of COVID-19 and mortality rates were considered in the present study including 25 Italian centers. Data were collected, double checked and tracked by institutional records, between the 1st March and 1st May 2020 to coincide with the first peak of COVID-19 and compared with the same time-period in 2019. RESULTS: Among 1922 PAH patients the incidence of SARS- CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 was 1.0% and 0.46%, respectively, the latter comparable to the overall Italian population (0.34%), but associated with 100% mortality. Less systematic activities were converted into more effective remote interfacing between clinicians and PAH patients allowing lower rates of hospitalisation and related death compared with 2019 (1.2% and 0.3% versus 1.9% and 0.5%, respectively; p<0.001). High level of attention is needed to avoid the potential risk of disease progression related to less aggressive escalation of treatment and the reduction in new PAH diagnosis compared with 2019. CONCLUSION: Cohesive partnership of health care providers with regional public health officials is needed to prioritise PAH patients for remote monitoring by dedicated tools.

5.
J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) ; 23(4): 254-263, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742158

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The role of sex compared to comorbidities and other prognostic variables in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is unclear. METHODS: This is a retrospective observational study on patients with COVID-19 infection, referred to 13 cardiology units. The primary objective was to assess the difference in risk of death between the sexes. The secondary objective was to explore sex-based heterogeneity in the association between demographic, clinical and laboratory variables, and patients' risk of death. RESULTS: Seven hundred and one patients were included: 214 (30.5%) women and 487 (69.5%) men. During a median follow-up of 15 days, deaths occurred in 39 (18.2%) women and 126 (25.9%) men. In a multivariable Cox regression model, men had a nonsignificantly higher risk of death vs. women (P = 0.07).The risk of death was more than double in men with a low lymphocytes count as compared with men with a high lymphocytes count [overall survival hazard ratio (OS-HR) 2.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.72-3.81]. In contrast, lymphocytes count was not related to death in women (P = 0.03).Platelets count was associated with better outcome in men (OS-HR for increase of 50 × 103 units: 0.88 95% CI 0.78-1.00) but not in women. The strength of association between higher PaO2/FiO2 ratio and lower risk of death was larger in women (OS-HR for increase of 50 mmHg/%: 0.72, 95% CI 0.59-0.89) vs. men (OS-HR: 0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.98; P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Patients' sex is a relevant variable that should be taken into account when evaluating risk of death from COVID-19. There is a sex-based heterogeneity in the association between baseline variables and patients' risk of death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Am J Cardiol ; 167: 125-132, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633476

ABSTRACT

Data concerning the combined prognostic role of natriuretic peptide (NP) and troponin in patients with COVID-19 are lacking. The aim of the study is to evaluate the combined prognostic value of NPs and troponin in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. From March 1, 2020 to April 9, 2020, consecutive patients with COVID-19 and available data on cardiac biomarkers at admission were recruited. Patients admitted for acute coronary syndrome were excluded. Troponin levels were defined as elevated when greater than the 99th percentile of normal values. NPs were considered elevated if above the limit for ruling in acute heart failure (HF). A total of 341 patients were included in this study, mean age 68 ± 13 years, 72% were men. During a median follow-up period of 14 days, 81 patients (24%) died. In the Cox regression analysis, patients with elevated both NPs and troponin levels had higher risk of death compared with those with normal levels of both (hazard ratio 2.94; 95% confidence interval 1.31 to 6.64; p = 0.009), and this remained significant after adjustment for age, gender, oxygen saturation, HF history, and chronic kidney disease. Interestingly, NPs provided risk stratification also in patients with normal troponin values (hazard ratio 2.86; 95% confidence interval 1.21 to 6.72; p = 0.016 with high NPs levels). These data show the combined prognostic role of troponin and NPs in COVID-19 patients. NPs value may be helpful in identifying patients with a worse prognosis among those with normal troponin values. Further, NPs' cut-point used for diagnosis of acute HF has a predictive role in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Hospital Mortality , Natriuretic Peptide, Brain/blood , Peptide Fragments/blood , Troponin I/blood , Troponin T/blood , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Heart Failure/blood , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Proportional Hazards Models , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Eur Respir J ; 58(3)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416804

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of protective masks has been essential to reduce contagions. However, public opinion is that there is an associated subjective shortness of breath. We evaluated cardiorespiratory parameters at rest and during maximal exertion to highlight any differences with the use of protective masks.12 healthy subjects performed three identical cardiopulmonary exercise tests, one without wearing a protective mask, one wearing a surgical mask and one with a filtering face piece particles class 2 (FFP2) mask. Dyspnoea was assessed using the Borg scale. Standard pulmonary function tests were also performed.All the subjects (40.8±12.4 years; six male) completed the protocol with no adverse events. Spirometry showed a progressive reduction of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) from no mask to surgical to FFP2 (FEV1: 3.94±0.91 L, 3.23±0.81 L, 2.94±0.98 L; FVC: 4.70±1.21 L, 3.77±1.02 L, 3.52±1.21 L; p<0.001). Rest ventilation, O2 uptake (V˙ O2 ) and CO2 production (V˙ CO2 ) were progressively lower, with a reduction in respiratory rate. At peak exercise, subjects had a progressively higher Borg scale when wearing surgical and FFP2 masks. Accordingly, at peak exercise, V˙ O2 (31.0±23.4 mL·kg-1·min-1, 27.5±6.9 mL·kg-1·min-1, 28.2±8.8 mL·kg-1·min-1; p=0.001), ventilation (92±26 L, 76±22 L, 72±21 L; p=0.003), respiratory rate (42±8 breaths·min-1, 38±5 breaths·min-1, 37±4 breaths·min-1; p=0.04) and tidal volume (2.28±0.72 L, 2.05±0.60 L, 1.96±0.65 L; p=0.001) were gradually lower. There was no significant difference in oxygen saturation.Protective masks are associated with significant but modest worsening of spirometry and cardiorespiratory parameters at rest and peak exercise. The effect is driven by a ventilation reduction due to increased airflow resistance. However, because exercise ventilatory limitation is far from being reached, their use is safe even during maximal exercise, with a slight reduction in performance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Exercise , Exercise Test , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 270-273, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Glucocorticoid therapy has emerged as an effective therapeutic option in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to focus on the impact of relevant clinical and laboratory factors on the protective effect of glucocorticoids on mortality. METHODS: A sub-analysis was performed of the multicenter Cardio-COVID-Italy registry, enrolling consecutive patients with COVID-19 admitted to 13 Italian cardiology units between 01 March 2020 and 09 April 2020. The primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality. RESULTS: A total of 706 COVID-19 patients were included (349 treated with glucocorticoids, 357 not treated with glucocorticoids). After adjustment for relevant covariates, use of glucocorticoids was associated with a lower risk of in-hospital mortality (adjusted HR 0.44; 95% CI 0.26-0.72; p = 0.001). A significant interaction was observed between the protective effect of glucocorticoids on mortality and PaO2/FiO2 ratio on admission (p = 0.042), oxygen saturation on admission (p = 0.017), and peak CRP (0.023). Such protective effects of glucocorticoids were mainly observed in patients with lower PaO2/FiO2 ratio (<300), lower oxygen saturation (<90%), and higher CRP (>100 mg/L). CONCLUSIONS: The protective effects of glucocorticoids on mortality in COVID-19 were more evident among patients with worse respiratory parameters and higher systemic inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Glucocorticoids , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Europace ; 23(10): 1603-1611, 2021 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322629

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To assess the clinical relevance of a history of atrial fibrillation (AF) in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS AND RESULTS: We enrolled 696 consecutive patients (mean age 67.4 ± 13.2 years, 69.7% males) admitted for COVID-19 in 13 Italian cardiology centres between 1 March and 9 April 2020. One hundred and six patients (15%) had a history of AF and the median hospitalization length was 14 days (interquartile range 9-24). Patients with a history of AF were older and with a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors. Compared to patients without AF, they showed a higher rate of in-hospital death (38.7% vs. 20.8%; P < 0.001). History of AF was associated with an increased risk of death after adjustment for clinical confounders related to COVID-19 severity and cardiovascular comorbidities, including history of heart failure (HF) and increased plasma troponin [adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 1.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-2.84; P = 0.029]. Patients with a history of AF also had more in-hospital clinical events including new-onset AF (36.8% vs. 7.9%; P < 0.001), acute HF (25.3% vs. 6.3%; P < 0.001), and multiorgan failure (13.9% vs. 5.8%; P = 0.010). The association between AF and worse outcome was not modified by previous or concomitant use of anticoagulants or steroid therapy (P for interaction >0.05 for both) and was not related to stroke or bleeding events. CONCLUSION: Among hospitalized patients with COVID-19, a history of AF contributes to worse clinical course with a higher mortality and in-hospital events including new-onset AF, acute HF, and multiorgan failure. The mortality risk remains significant after adjustment for variables associated with COVID-19 severity and comorbidities.


Subject(s)
Atrial Fibrillation , COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Atrial Fibrillation/diagnosis , Atrial Fibrillation/epidemiology , Female , Heart Failure/diagnosis , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Healthc Eng ; 2021: 5556207, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314165

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection is harshly debated, with observational and experimental studies reporting contrasting results. To clarify the role of HCQ in Covid-19 patients, we carried out a retrospective observational study of 4,396 unselected patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in Italy (February-May 2020). Patients' characteristics were collected at entry, including age, sex, obesity, smoking status, blood parameters, history of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary diseases, and medications in use. These were used to identify subtypes of patients with similar characteristics through hierarchical clustering based on Gower distance. Using multivariable Cox regressions, these clusters were then tested for association with mortality and modification of effect by treatment with HCQ. We identified two clusters, one of 3,913 younger patients with lower circulating inflammation levels and better renal function, and one of 483 generally older and more comorbid subjects, more prevalently men and smokers. The latter group was at increased death risk adjusted by HCQ (HR[CI95%] = 3.80[3.08-4.67]), while HCQ showed an independent inverse association (0.51[0.43-0.61]), as well as a significant influence of cluster∗HCQ interaction (p < 0.001). This was driven by a differential association of HCQ with mortality between the high (0.89[0.65-1.22]) and the low risk cluster (0.46[0.39-0.54]). These effects survived adjustments for additional medications in use and were concordant with associations with disease severity and outcome. These findings suggest a particularly beneficial effect of HCQ within low risk Covid-19 patients and may contribute to clarifying the current controversy on HCQ efficacy in Covid-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antimalarials/adverse effects , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cluster Analysis , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
12.
ESC Heart Fail ; 8(5): 3504-3511, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300393

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Myocardial injury (MI) in coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is quite prevalent at admission and affects prognosis. Little is known about troponin trajectories and their prognostic role. We aimed to describe the early in-hospital evolution of MI and its prognostic impact. METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed an analysis from an Italian multicentre study enrolling COVID-19 patients, hospitalized from 1 March to 9 April 2020. MI was defined as increased troponin level. The first troponin was tested within 24 h from admission, the second one between 24 and 48 h. Elevated troponin was defined as values above the 99th percentile of normal values. Patients were divided in four groups: normal, normal then elevated, elevated then normal, and elevated. The outcome was in-hospital death. The study population included 197 patients; 41% had normal troponin at both evaluations, 44% had elevated troponin at both assessments, 8% had normal then elevated troponin, and 7% had elevated then normal troponin. During hospitalization, 49 (25%) patients died. Patients with incident MI, with persistent MI, and with MI only at admission had a higher risk of death compared with those with normal troponin at both evaluations (P < 0.001). At multivariable analysis, patients with normal troponin at admission and MI injury on Day 2 had the highest mortality risk (hazard ratio 3.78, 95% confidence interval 1.10-13.09, P = 0.035). CONCLUSIONS: In patients admitted for COVID-19, re-test MI on Day 2 provides a prognostic value. A non-negligible proportion of patients with incident MI on Day 2 is identified at high risk of death only by the second measurement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Troponin/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Prognosis
13.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 639970, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285307

ABSTRACT

Background: Protease inhibitors have been considered as possible therapeutic agents for COVID-19 patients. Objectives: To describe the association between lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) or darunavir/cobicistat (DRV/c) use and in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. Study Design: Multicenter observational study of COVID-19 patients admitted in 33 Italian hospitals. Medications, preexisting conditions, clinical measures, and outcomes were extracted from medical records. Patients were retrospectively divided in three groups, according to use of LPV/r, DRV/c or none of them. Primary outcome in a time-to event analysis was death. We used Cox proportional-hazards models with inverse probability of treatment weighting by multinomial propensity scores. Results: Out of 3,451 patients, 33.3% LPV/r and 13.9% received DRV/c. Patients receiving LPV/r or DRV/c were more likely younger, men, had higher C-reactive protein levels while less likely had hypertension, cardiovascular, pulmonary or kidney disease. After adjustment for propensity scores, LPV/r use was not associated with mortality (HR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.13), whereas treatment with DRV/c was associated with a higher death risk (HR = 1.89, 1.53 to 2.34, E-value = 2.43). This increased risk was more marked in women, in elderly, in patients with higher severity of COVID-19 and in patients receiving other COVID-19 drugs. Conclusions: In a large cohort of Italian patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in a real-life setting, the use of LPV/r treatment did not change death rate, while DRV/c was associated with increased mortality. Within the limits of an observational study, these data do not support the use of LPV/r or DRV/c in COVID-19 patients.

14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(5): e29058, 2021 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several models have been developed to predict mortality in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, but only a few have demonstrated enough discriminatory capacity. Machine learning algorithms represent a novel approach for the data-driven prediction of clinical outcomes with advantages over statistical modeling. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to develop a machine learning-based score-the Piacenza score-for 30-day mortality prediction in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: The study comprised 852 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, admitted to the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Italy from February to November 2020. Patients' medical history, demographics, and clinical data were collected using an electronic health record. The overall patient data set was randomly split into derivation and test cohorts. The score was obtained through the naïve Bayes classifier and externally validated on 86 patients admitted to Centro Cardiologico Monzino (Italy) in February 2020. Using a forward-search algorithm, 6 features were identified: age, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, PaO2/FiO2 ratio, temperature, previous stroke, and gender. The Brier index was used to evaluate the ability of the machine learning model to stratify and predict the observed outcomes. A user-friendly website was designed and developed to enable fast and easy use of the tool by physicians. Regarding the customization properties of the Piacenza score, we added a tailored version of the algorithm to the website, which enables an optimized computation of the mortality risk score for a patient when some of the variables used by the Piacenza score are not available. In this case, the naïve Bayes classifier is retrained over the same derivation cohort but using a different set of patient characteristics. We also compared the Piacenza score with the 4C score and with a naïve Bayes algorithm with 14 features chosen a priori. RESULTS: The Piacenza score exhibited an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.78 (95% CI 0.74-0.84, Brier score=0.19) in the internal validation cohort and 0.79 (95% CI 0.68-0.89, Brier score=0.16) in the external validation cohort, showing a comparable accuracy with respect to the 4C score and to the naïve Bayes model with a priori chosen features; this achieved an AUC of 0.78 (95% CI 0.73-0.83, Brier score=0.26) and 0.80 (95% CI 0.75-0.86, Brier score=0.17), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that a customizable machine learning-based score with a purely data-driven selection of features is feasible and effective for the prediction of mortality among patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Machine Learning , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/pathology , Cohort Studies , Electronic Health Records , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Research Design , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
15.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(10): 2148-2160, 2021 08 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266112

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 is a global threat, causing high mortality, especially in the elderly. The main symptoms and the primary cause of death are related to interstitial pneumonia. Viral entry also into myocardial cells mainly via the angiotensin converting enzyme type 2 (ACE2) receptor and excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, however, also make the heart susceptible to injury. In addition to the immediate damage caused by the acute inflammatory response, the heart may also suffer from long-term consequences of COVID-19, potentially causing a post-pandemic increase in cardiac complications. Although the main cause of cardiac damage in COVID-19 remains coagulopathy with micro- (and to a lesser extent macro-) vascular occlusion, open questions remain about other possible modalities of cardiac dysfunction, such as direct infection of myocardial cells, effects of cytokines storm, and mechanisms related to enhanced coagulopathy. In this opinion paper, we focus on these lesser appreciated possibilities and propose experimental approaches that could provide a more comprehensive understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of cardiac injury in COVID-19 patients. We first discuss approaches to characterize cardiac damage caused by possible direct viral infection of cardiac cells, followed by formulating hypotheses on how to reproduce and investigate the hyperinflammatory and pro-thrombotic conditions observed in the heart of COVID-19 patients using experimental in vitro systems. Finally, we elaborate on strategies to discover novel pathology biomarkers using omics platforms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Heart Diseases/virology , Heart/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Biomarkers/metabolism , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/complications , Fibrosis , Heart/physiopathology , Heart Diseases/metabolism , Heart Diseases/pathology , Heart Diseases/physiopathology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , Myocytes, Cardiac/pathology , Ventricular Remodeling
16.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(9): e25072, 2021 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1114904

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Northern Italy has been particularly hit by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Italian deceased patients have a mean age of 78.5 years and only 1.2% have no comorbidities. These data started a public debate whether patients die "with" or "from" Covid-19. If on one hand the public opinion has been persuaded to believe that Covid-19 infection has poor outcomes just in elderly and/or fragile subjects, on the other hand, hospitals are admitting an increasing number of healthy young patients needing semi-intensive or intensive care units. PATIENT CONCERNS: At the end of March 2020, a 79-year-old patient (M.G.) was admitted to the emergency department of our hospital with a 5 days history of fever, dyspnea, and cough. He was known for hypertension and coronary artery disease with a previous coronary artery stenting. Both the comorbidities were carried out without complications and the patient was previously asymptomatic and in good health. At admission, he was febrile and showed signs of respiratory failure with hypoxia and hypocapnia at blood gas analysis. DIAGNOSIS: The day after, he was tested for SARS-CoV-2 with a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay of nasopharyngeal swab, which turned positive and a chest CT-Scan was consistent with the diagnosis of interstitial pneumonia. INTERVENTIONS: He was treated with i.v. diuretics, paracetamol, prolonged noninvasive ventilation (CPAP), and empiric antibiotic therapy on top of his chronic treatment. OUTCOMES: A treatment with heparin and corticosteroids was started; however, he developed irreversible respiratory failure. Invasive ventilation was not considered appropriate due to his comorbidities, low chances of recovery, and intensive care unit overcrowding. The patient died 9 days after admission. LESSONS: Health conditions that are most reported as risk factors are common cardiovascular diseases that can be managed in modern clinical practice. Through a brief illustrative clinical case, we would like to underline how Covid-19 can be per se the cause of death in patients that would otherwise have had an acceptable life expectancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronary Artery Disease , Hypertension , Patient Care Management/methods , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Blood Gas Analysis/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Clinical Deterioration , Coronary Artery Disease/epidemiology , Coronary Artery Disease/physiopathology , Coronary Artery Disease/therapy , Fatal Outcome , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypertension/physiopathology , Hypertension/therapy , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods
17.
Thromb Haemost ; 121(8): 1054-1065, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112023

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A hypercoagulable condition was described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and proposed as a possible pathogenic mechanism contributing to disease progression and lethality. AIM: We evaluated if in-hospital administration of heparin improved survival in a large cohort of Italian COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In a retrospective observational study, 2,574 unselected patients hospitalized in 30 clinical centers in Italy from February 19, 2020 to June 5, 2020 with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection were analyzed. The primary endpoint in a time-to event analysis was in-hospital death, comparing patients who received heparin (low-molecular-weight heparin [LMWH] or unfractionated heparin [UFH]) with patients who did not. We used multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models with inverse probability for treatment weighting by propensity scores. RESULTS: Out of 2,574 COVID-19 patients, 70.1% received heparin. LMWH was largely the most used formulation (99.5%). Death rates for patients receiving heparin or not were 7.4 and 14.0 per 1,000 person-days, respectively. After adjustment for propensity scores, we found a 40% lower risk of death in patients receiving heparin (hazard ratio = 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.49-0.74; E-value = 2.04). This association was particularly evident in patients with a higher severity of disease or strong coagulation activation. CONCLUSION: In-hospital heparin treatment was associated with a lower mortality, particularly in severely ill COVID-19 patients and in those with strong coagulation activation. The results from randomized clinical trials are eagerly awaited to provide clear-cut recommendations.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Heparin/therapeutic use , Thrombophilia/etiology , Thrombophilia/prevention & control , Aged , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Survival Analysis , Thrombophilia/blood
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4310, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096332

ABSTRACT

Patients requiring diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are routinely assessed by reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) amplification of Sars-CoV-2 virus RNA extracted from oro/nasopharyngeal swabs. Despite the good specificity of the assays certified for SARS-CoV-2 molecular detection, and a theoretical sensitivity of few viral gene copies per reaction, a relatively high rate of false negatives continues to be reported. This is an important challenge in the management of patients on hospital admission and for correct monitoring of the infectivity after the acute phase. In the present report, we show that the use of digital PCR, a high sensitivity method to detect low amplicon numbers, allowed us to correctly detecting infection in swab material in a significant number of false negatives. We show that the implementation of digital PCR methods in the diagnostic assessment of COVID-19 could resolve, at least in part, this timely issue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , False Negative Reactions , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/genetics , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
19.
Eur J Heart Fail ; 22(12): 2238-2247, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919856

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To assess the prognostic value of a history of heart failure (HF) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS AND RESULTS: We enrolled 692 consecutive patients admitted for COVID-19 in 13 Italian cardiology centres between 1 March and 9 April 2020. Mean age was 67.4 ± 13.2 years, 69.5% of patients were males, 90 (13.0%) had a history of HF, median hospitalization length was 14 days (interquartile range 9-24). In-hospital death occurred in 37 of 90 patients (41.1%) with HF history vs. 126 of those with no HF history (20.9%). The increased risk of death associated with HF history remained significant after adjustment for clinical variables related to COVID-19 and HF severity, including comorbidities, oxygen saturation, lymphocyte count and plasma troponin [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for death: 2.25; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-4.02; P = 0.006 at multivariable Cox regression model including 404 patients]. Patients with a history of HF also had more in-hospital complications including acute HF (33.3% vs. 5.1%, P < 0.001), acute renal failure (28.1% vs. 12.9%, P < 0.001), multiorgan failure (15.9% vs. 5.8%, P = 0.004) and sepsis (18.4% vs. 8.9%, P = 0.006). Other independent predictors of outcome were age, sex, oxygen saturation and oxygen partial pressure at arterial gas analysis/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2 /FiO2 ). In-hospital treatment with corticosteroids and heparin had beneficial effects (adjusted HR for death: 0.46; 95% CI 0.29-0.74; P = 0.001; n = 404 for corticosteroids, and adjusted HR 0.41; 95% CI 0.25-0.67; P < 0.001; n = 364 for heparin). CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and a history of HF have an extremely poor outcome with higher mortality and in-hospital complications. HF history is an independent predictor of increased in-hospital mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Failure/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Multiple Organ Failure/epidemiology , Sepsis/epidemiology , Acute Disease , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Blood Gas Analysis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Chronic Disease , Comorbidity , Disease Progression , Female , Heart Failure/physiopathology , Heart Failure/therapy , Heparin/therapeutic use , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Partial Pressure , Prognosis , Proportional Hazards Models , Protective Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
20.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 110(7): 1020-1028, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism (PE) has been described in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) critically ill patients, but the evidence from more heterogeneous cohorts is limited. METHODS: Data were retrospectively obtained from consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to 13 Cardiology Units in Italy, from March 1st to April 9th, 2020, and followed until in-hospital death, discharge, or April 23rd, 2020. The association of baseline variables with computed tomography-confirmed PE was investigated by Cox hazards regression analysis. The relationship between D-dimer levels and PE incidence was evaluated using restricted cubic splines models. RESULTS: The study included 689 patients (67.3 ± 13.2 year-old, 69.4% males), of whom 43.6% were non-invasively ventilated and 15.8% invasively. 52 (7.5%) had PE over 15 (9-24) days of follow-up. Compared with those without PE, these subjects had younger age, higher BMI, less often heart failure and chronic kidney disease, more severe cardio-pulmonary involvement, and higher admission D-dimer [4344 (1099-15,118) vs. 818.5 (417-1460) ng/mL, p < 0.001]. They also received more frequently darunavir/ritonavir, tocilizumab and ventilation support. Furthermore, they faced more bleeding episodes requiring transfusion (15.6% vs. 5.1%, p < 0.001) and non-significantly higher in-hospital mortality (34.6% vs. 22.9%, p = 0.06). In multivariate regression, only D-dimer was associated with PE (HR 1.72, 95% CI 1.13-2.62; p = 0.01). The relation between D-dimer concentrations and PE incidence was linear, without inflection point. Only two subjects had a baseline D-dimer < 500 ng/mL. CONCLUSIONS: PE occurs in a sizable proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The implications of bleeding events and the role of D-dimer in this population need to be clarified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Hospitalization , Pulmonary Embolism/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Incidence , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Embolism/therapy , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
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