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1.
Med Educ Online ; 27(1): 2101417, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937567

ABSTRACT

As a consequence of the continued Covid-19 lockdown in Germany, in-hospital teaching for medical students was impossible. While lectures and other theoretical training were relatively easily converted into online sessions using platforms such as Moodle, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, this was not the case for practical skills and clinical interventions, such as bronchoscopy or colonoscopy. This study describes a workaround that was implemented at the Saarland University Hospital utilizing virtual reality equipment to convey the impressions of shadowing clinical procedures to the students without physical presence. To achieve this, 3D 180° videos of key clinical interventions of various internal medicine specialities were recorded, cut, and censored. The videos were uploaded to the e-learning YouTube channel of our institution and shared with the students via the private share function. The students could choose whether to use a VR-viewer to watch the videos immersively or to watch them without a viewer on a screen non-immersively. At the end of the course after 1 week, the students completed a questionnaire anonymously focusing on learning-success regarding the presented topics, a self-assessment, and an evaluation of the course. A total of 27 students watched the videos with a VR-Viewer and 74 watched non-immersively. Although the VR-viewer group self-assessed their expertise higher, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the learning-success test score. However, students in the VR-viewer group rated the learning atmosphere, comprehensibility, and overall recommendation of the course significantly higher. They also agreed significantly more to the statement, that they gained a better conception of the presented procedures, and that virtual reality might be an appropriate tool for online teaching. Video-assisted teaching facilitates learning and might be a valuable add-on to conventional teaching.Abbreviations: Covid-19: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; 3D: three-dimensional; 2D: Two-dimensional; VR: virtual reality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Medical , Virtual Reality , Communicable Disease Control , Germany , Hospitals , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 122: 178-187, 2022 May 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1889494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early prognostication of COVID-19 severity will potentially improve patient care. Biomarkers, such as TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10), and C-reactive protein (CRP), might represent possible tools for point-of-care testing and severity prediction. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, we analyzed serum levels of TRAIL, IP-10, and CRP in patients with COVID-19, compared them with control subjects, and investigated the association with disease severity. RESULTS: A total of 899 measurements were performed in 132 patients (mean age 64 years, 40.2% females). Among patients with COVID-19, TRAIL levels were lower (49.5 vs 87 pg/ml, P = 0.0142), whereas IP-10 and CRP showed higher levels (667.5 vs 127 pg/ml, P <0.001; 75.3 vs 1.6 mg/l, P <0.001) than healthy controls. TRAIL yielded an inverse correlation with length of hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) stay, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, and National Early Warning Score, and IP-10 showed a positive correlation with disease severity. Multivariable regression revealed that obesity (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 5.434, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.005-29.38), CRP (aOR 1.014, 95% CI 1.002-1.027), and peak IP-10 (aOR 1.001, 95% CI 1.00-1.002) were independent predictors of in-ICU mortality. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated a correlation between COVID-19 severity and TRAIL, IP-10, and CRP. Multivariable regression showed a role for IP-10 in predicting unfavourable outcomes, such as in-ICU mortality. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04655521.

3.
ASAIO J ; 68(8): 1017-1023, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865005

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has drastically increased the number of patients requiring extracorporeal life support. We investigate the efficacy and safety of low-dose recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rtPA) injection into exhausted oxygenators to delay exchange in critically ill COVID-19 patients on veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-V ECMO). Small doses of rtPA were injected directly into the draining section of a V-V ECMO circuit. We compared transmembrane pressure gradient, pump head efficiency, membrane arterial partial oxygen pressure, and membrane arterial partial carbon dioxide pressure before and after the procedure. Bleeding was compared with a matched control group of 20 COVID-19 patients on V-V ECMO receiving standard anticoagulation. Four patients received 16 oxygenator instillations with rtPA at 5, 10, or 20 mg per dose. Administration of rtPA significantly reduced transmembrane pressure gradient (Δ pm = 54.8 ± 18.1 mmHg before vs . 38.3 ± 13.3 mmHg after, p < 0.001) in a dose-dependent manner (Pearson's R -0.63, p = 0.023), allowing to delay oxygenator exchange, thus reducing the overall number of consumed oxygenators. rtPA increased blood flow efficiency η (1.20 ± 0.28 ml/revolution before vs . 1.24 ± 0.27 ml/r, p = 0.002). Lysis did not affect membrane blood gases or systemic coagulation. Minor bleeding occurred in 2 of 4 patients (50%) receiving oxygenator lysis as well as 19 of 20 control patients (95%). Lysis of ECMO oxygenators effectively delays oxygenator exchange, if exchange is indicated by an increase in transmembrane pressure gradient. Application of lysis did not result in higher bleeding incidences compared with anticoagulated patients on V-V ECMO for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Oxygenators, Membrane , Tissue Plasminogen Activator , Blood Gas Analysis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/instrumentation , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Humans , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/therapeutic use
4.
Membranes (Basel) ; 12(5)2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820335

ABSTRACT

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has become an important therapeutic approach in the COVID-19 pandemic. The development and research in this field strongly relies on animal models; however, efforts are being made to find alternatives. In this work, we present a new mock circuit for ECMO that allows measurements of the oxygen transfer rate of a membrane lung at full ECMO blood flow. The mock utilizes a large reservoir of heparinized porcine blood to measure the oxygen transfer rate of the membrane lung in a single passage. The oxygen transfer rate is calculated from blood flow, hemoglobin value, venous saturation, and post-membrane arterial oxygen pressure. Before the next measuring sequence, the blood is regenerated to a venous condition with a sweep gas of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The presented mock was applied to investigate the effect of a recirculation loop on the oxygen transfer rate of an ECMO setup. The recirculation loop caused a significant increase in post-membrane arterial oxygen pressure (paO2). The effect was strongest for the highest recirculation flow. This was attributed to a smaller boundary layer on gas fibers due to the increased blood velocity. However, the increase in paO2 did not translate to significant increases in the oxygen transfer rate because of the minor significance of physically dissolved oxygen for gas transfer. In conclusion, our results regarding a new ECMO mock setup demonstrate that recirculation loops can improve ECMO performance, but not enough to be clinically relevant.

6.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 4(5): e329-e337, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764076

ABSTRACT

Background: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious complication of infection with SARS-CoV-2. A possible involvement of pathogenetically relevant autoantibodies has been discussed. Recently, neutralising autoantibodies against inflammatory receptor antagonists progranulin and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) were found in adult patients with critical COVID-19. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of such autoantibodies in MIS-C. Methods: In this multicentre, retrospective, cohort study, plasma and serum samples were collected from patients (0-18 years) with MIS-C (as per WHO criteria) treated at five clinical centres in Germany and Spain. As controls, we included plasma or serum samples from children with Kawasaki disease, children with inactive systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and children with suspected growth retardation (non-inflammatory control) across four clinical centres in Germany and Spain (all aged ≤18 years). Serum samples from the CoKiBa trial were used as two further control groups, from healthy children (negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) and children with previous mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 (aged ≤17 years). MIS-C and control samples were analysed for autoantibodies against IL-1Ra and progranulin, and for IL-1Ra concentrations, by ELISA. Biochemical analysis of plasma IL-1Ra was performed with native Western blots and isoelectric focusing. Functional activity of the autoantibodies was examined by an in vitro IL-1ß-signalling reporter assay. Findings: Serum and plasma samples were collected between March 6, 2011, and June 2, 2021. Autoantibodies against IL-1Ra could be detected in 13 (62%) of 21 patients with MIS-C (11 girls and ten boys), but not in children with Kawasaki disease (n=24; nine girls and 15 boys), asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 (n=146; 72 girls and 74 boys), inactive systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (n=10; five girls and five boys), suspected growth retardation (n=33; 13 girls and 20 boys), or in healthy controls (n=462; 230 girls and 232 boys). Anti-IL-1Ra antibodies in patients with MIS-C belonged exclusively to the IgG1 subclass, except in one patient who had additional IL-1Ra-specific IgM antibodies. Autoantibodies against progranulin were only detected in one (5%) patient with MIS-C. In patients with MIS-C who were positive for anti-IL-1Ra antibodies, free plasma IL-1Ra concentrations were reduced, and immune-complexes of IL-1Ra were detected. Notably, an additional, hyperphosphorylated, transiently occurring atypical isoform of IL-1Ra was observed in all patients with MIS-C who were positive for anti-IL-1Ra antibodies. Anti-IL-1Ra antibodies impaired IL-1Ra function in reporter cell assays, resulting in amplified IL-1ß signalling. Interpretation: Anti-IL-1Ra autoantibodies were observed in a high proportion of patients with MIS-C and were specific to these patients. Generation of these autoantibodies might be triggered by an atypical, hyperphosphorylated isoform of IL-1Ra. These autoantibodies impair IL-1Ra bioactivity and might thus contribute to increased IL-1ß-signalling in MIS-C. Funding: NanoBioMed fund of the University of Saarland, José Carreras Center for Immuno and Gene Therapy, Dr Rolf M Schwiete Stiftung, Staatskanzlei Saarland, German Heart Foundation, Charity of the Blue Sisters, Bavarian Ministry of Health, the Center for Interdisciplinary Clinical Research at University Hospital Münster, EU Horizon 2020.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316972

ABSTRACT

Background: In 2020, a novel coronavirus caused a global pandemic with a clinical picture termed COVID-19 accounting for numerous cases of ARDS. However, there are still other infectious causes of ARDS that should be considered, especially, as the majority of these pathogens are specifically treatable. Case Presentation We present the case of a 36-year-old gentleman who was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms after completing a half-marathon one week before admission. As infection with SARS-CoV2 was suspected based on radiologic imaging, the hypoxemic patient was immediately transferred to the ICU, where he developed ARDS. Empiric antimicrobial chemotherapy was initiated, the patient deteriorated further, therapy was changed and the patient was transferred to a tertiary care ARDS center. As cold agglutinins were present, the hypothesis of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 was then questioned. Bronchoscopic sampling revealed Mycoplasma (M.) pneumoniae . When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. Conclusion: Usually, M. pneumoniae causes mild disease. When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. The case underlines the importance of adhering to established treatment guidelines, scrutinizing treatment modalities and not forgetting other potential causes of severe pneumonia or ARDS.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316350

ABSTRACT

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a means to support patients with acute respiratory failure. Initially, recommendations to treat severe cases of pandemic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with ECMO have been restrained. In the meantime, ECMO has been shown to produce similar outcomes in patients with severe COVID-19 compared to existing data on ARDS mortality.Objective: We performed an international email survey to assess how ECMO providers worldwide have previously used ECMO during the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19.MethodsA questionnaire with 45 questions (covering e.g. indication, technical aspects, benefit and reasons for treatment discontinuation), mostly multiple-choice, was distributed by email to ECMO centers. The survey was approved by the European branch of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).Results: 276 centers worldwide responded that they employed ECMO for very severe COVID-19 cases, mostly in veno-venous configuration (87%). The most common reason to establish ECMO was isolated hypoxemic respiratory failure (50%), followed by a combination of hypoxemia and hypercapnia (39%). Only a small fraction of patients required veno-arterial cannulation due to heart failure (3%). Time on ECMO varied between less than two and more than four weeks. The main reason to discontinue ECMO treatment prior to patient’s recovery was lack of clinical improvement (53%), followed by major bleeding, mostly intracranially (13%). Only 4% of respondents reported that triage situations, lack of staff or lack of oxygenators were responsible for discontinuation of ECMO support. Most ECMO physicians (66% ± 26%) agreed that patients with COVID-19 induced ARDS (CARDS) benefitted from ECMO. Overall mortality of COVID-19 patients on ECMO was estimated to be about 55%, scoring higher than what has previously been reported for Influenza patients on ECMO (29 – 36%).Conclusion: ECMO has been utilized successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic to stabilize CARDS patients in hypoxemic or hypercapnic lung failure. Age and multimorbidity limited the use of ECMO. Triage situations were rarely a concern. ECMO providers stated that patients with severe COVID-19 benefitted from ECMO. An increasing use in patients with respiratory failure in a future stage of the pandemic may be expected.Funding Statement: COVID-19 research was funded by the Federal state of Saarland, Saarland University and Dr. Rolf M. Schwiete Foundation.Declaration of Interests: Robert Bals declares funding from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Grifols, Novartis, CLS Behring, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Competence Network Asthma and COPD (ASCONET), Sander-Stiftung, Schwiete-Stiftung, Krebshilfe and Mukoviszidose eV. Conflicts that the editors consider relevant to the content of the manuscript have been disclosed. All other authors: No potential conflicts of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: The ethical committee (Ärztekammer des Saarlandes) waived the need for a formal approval since the questionnaire did not retrieve actual patient data.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314558

ABSTRACT

Background: There is ongoing debate whether lung physiology of COVID-19 associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) differs from ARDS of other origin. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze and compare how critically ill patients with COVID-19 and Influenza A or B were ventilated in our tertiary care center with or without extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). We ask if acute lung failure due to COVID-19 requires different intensive care management compared to conventional ARDS. Methods: 25 patients with COVID-19 associated ARDS were matched to a cohort of 25 Influenza patients treated in our center from 2011 to 2021. Subgroup analysis addressed whether patients on ECMO received different mechanical ventilation than patients without extracorporeal support. Results: Compared to Influenza-associated ARDS, COVID-19 patients had higher ventilatory system compliance (40.7 ml/mbar [31.8 – 46.7 ml/mbar] vs. 31.4 ml/mbar [13.7 – 42.8 ml/mbar], p = 0.198), higher ventilatory ratio (1.57 [1.31 – 1.84] vs. 0.91 [0.44 – 1.38], p = 0.006) and higher minute ventilation at the time of intubation (mean minute ventilation 10.7 l/min [7.2 – 12.2 l/min] for COVID-19 vs. 6.0 l/min [2.5 – 10.1 l/min] for Influenza, p = 0.013). There were no measurable differences in P/F ratio, positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and driving pressures (ΔP). Respiratory system compliance deteriorated considerably in COVID-19 patients on ECMO during 2 weeks of mechanical ventilation (C rs , mean decrease over 2 weeks -23.87 ml/mbar ± 32.94 ml/mbar, p = 0.037), but not in ventilated Influenza patients on ECMO and less so in ventilated COVID-19 patients without ECMO. For COVID-19 patients, low driving pressures on ECMO were strongly correlated to a decline in compliance after 2 weeks (Pearson’s R 0.80, p = 0.058). Overall mortality was insignificantly lower for COVID-19 patients compared to Influenza patients (40% vs. 48%, p = 0.31). Outcome was insignificantly worse for patients requiring veno-venous ECMO in both groups (50% mortality for COVID-19 on ECMO vs. 27% without ECMO, p = 0.30 / 56% vs 34% mortality for Influenza A/B with and without ECMO, p = 0.31) Conclusion: The pathophysiology of early COVID-19-associated ARDS differs from Influenza-associated acute lung failure by sustained respiratory mechanics during the early phase of ventilation. We question whether intubated COVID-19 patients on ECMO benefit from extremely low driving pressures, as this appears to accelerate derecruitment and consecutive loss of ventilatory system compliance.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306554

ABSTRACT

Background: It has been suggested that COVID-19-associated severe respiratory failure (CARDS) might differ from usual acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to failing auto-regulation of pulmonary vessels and higher shunt. We sought to investigate pulmonary hemodynamics and ventilation properties in patients with CARDS compared to patients with ARDS of pulmonary origin. Methods: : Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of consecutive adults with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 patients treated on our ICU in 04/2020 and comparison of the data to matched controls with ARDS due to respiratory infections treated on our ICU from 01/2014 to 08/2019 and for whom pulmonary artery catheter data were available. Results: : CARDS patients (n = 10) had similar ventilation characteristics as compared to ARDS (n = 10) patients. Still, mechanical power applied by ventilation was significantly higher in CARDS patients (23.4 ± 8.9 J/min) than in ARDS (15.9 ± 4.3 J/min;p<0.05). COVID-19 patients had similar pulmonary artery pressure but significantly lower pulmonary vascular resistance, as cardiac output was higher in CARDS vs. ARDS patients (p<0.05). Shunt fraction and dead space were similar in CARDS compared to ARDS (p>0.05) and was in both groups correlated with hypoxemia. The arterio-venous pCO 2 difference (DpCO 2 ) was elevated (CARDS 5.5±2.8 mmHg vs. ARDS 4.7±1.1 mmHg;p>0.05) as was P (v-a) CO 2 /C (a-v) O 2 ratio (CARDS mean 2.2±1.5 vs. ARDS 1.7±0.8;p>0.05). Conclusions: : Respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients seems to differ only slightly from ARDS regarding ventilation characteristics and pulmonary hemodynamics. Differences are mainly due to increased CO 2 production in CARDS patients. Our data indicate microcirculatory dysfunction. More data needs to be collected to assure these findings and gain more pathophysiological insights in COVID-19 and respiratory failure.

11.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296154

ABSTRACT

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT Hyperinflammation is frequently observed in patients with severe COVID-19. Inadequate and defective IFN type I responses against SARS-CoV-2, associated with autoantibodies in a proportion of patients, lead to severe courses of disease. In addition, hyperactive responses of the humoral immune system have been described. In the current study we investigated a possible role of neutralizing autoantibodies against antiinflammatory mediators. Plasma from adult patients with severe and critical COVID-19 was screened by ELISA for antibodies against PGRN, IL-1-Ra, IL-10, IL-18BP, IL-22BP, IL-36-Ra, CD40, IFN-α2, IFN-γ, IFN-ω and serpinB1. Autoantibodies were characterized and the antigens were analyzed for immunogenic alterations. In a discovery cohort with severe to critical COVID-19 high titers of PGRN-autoantibodies were detected in 11 of 30 (36.7%), and of IL-1-Ra-autoantibodies in 14 of 30 (46.7%) patients. In a validation cohort of 64 patients with critical COVID-19 high-titer PGRN-Abs were detected in 25 (39%) and IL-1-Ra-Abs in 32 of 64 patients (50%). PGRN-Abs and IL-1-Ra-Abs belonged to IgM and several IgG subclasses. In separate cohorts with non-critical COVID-19, PGRN-Abs and IL-1-Ra-Abs were detected in low frequency (i.e. in < 5% of patients) and at low titers. Neither PGRN-nor IL-1-Ra-Abs were found in 40 healthy controls vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 or 188 unvaccinated healthy controls. PGRN-Abs were not cross-reactive against SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins nor against IL-1-Ra. Plasma levels of both free PGRN and free IL-1-Ra were significantly decreased in autoantibody-positive patients compared to Ab-negative and non-COVID-19 controls. In vitro PGRN-Abs from patients functionally reduced PGRN-dependent inhibition of TNF-α signaling, and IL-1-Ra-Abs from patients reduced IL-1-Ra- or anakinra-dependent inhibition of IL-1ß signaling. The pSer81 hyperphosphorylated PGRN isoform was exclusively detected in patients with high-titer PGRN-Abs;likewise, a hyperphosphorylated IL-1-Ra isoform was only found in patients with high-titer IL-1-Ra-Abs. Thr111 was identified as the hyperphophorylated amino acid of IL-1-Ra. In longitudinally collected samples hyperphosphorylated isoforms of both PGRN and IL-1-Ra emerged transiently, and preceded the appearance of autoantibodies. In hospitalized patients, the presence of IL-1-Ra-Abs or IL-1-Ra-Abs in combination with PGRN-Abs was associated with a higher morbidity and mortality. To conclude, neutralizing autoantibodies to IL-1-Ra and PGRN occur in a significant portion of patients with critical COVID-19, with a concomitant decrease in circulating free PGRN and IL-1-Ra, indicative of a misdirected, proinflammatory autoimmune response. The break of self-tolerance is likely caused by atypical hyperphosphorylated isoforms of both antigens, whose appearances precede autoantibody induction. Our data suggest that these immunogenic secondary modifications are induced by the SARS-CoV-2-infection itself or the inflammatory environment evoked by the infection and predispose for a critical course of COVID-19.

12.
J Inflamm Res ; 14: 4651-4667, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 comprises several severity stages ranging from oligosymptomatic disease to multi-organ failure and fatal outcomes. The mechanisms why COVID-19 is a mild disease in some patients and progresses to a severe multi-organ and often fatal disease with respiratory failure are not known. Biomarkers that predict the course of disease are urgently needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate a large spectrum of established laboratory measurements. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients from the prospective PULMPOHOM and CORSAAR studies were recruited and comprised 35 patients with COVID-19, 23 with conventional pneumonia, and 28 control patients undergoing elective non-pulmonary surgery. Venous blood was used to measure the serum concentrations of 79 proteins by Luminex multiplex immunoassay technology. Distribution of biomarkers between groups and association with disease severity and outcomes were analyzed. RESULTS: The biomarker profiles between the three groups differed significantly with elevation of specific proteins specific for the respective conditions. Several biomarkers correlated significantly with disease severity and death. Uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP) analysis revealed a significant separation of the three disease groups and separated between survivors and deceased patients. Different models were developed to predict mortality based on the baseline measurements of several protein markers. A score combining IL-1ra, IL-8, IL-10, MCP-1, SCF and CA-9 was associated with significantly higher mortality (AUC 0.929). DISCUSSION: Several newly identified blood markers were significantly increased in patients with severe COVID-19 (AAT, EN-RAGE, myoglobin, SAP, TIMP-1, vWF, decorin) or in patients that died (IL-1ra, IL-8, IL-10, MCP-1, SCF, CA-9). The use of established assay technologies allows for rapid translation into clinical practice.

13.
Intensive Care Med Exp ; 9(1): 45, 2021 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394470

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite numerous advances in the identification of risk factors for the development of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), factors that promote recovery from COVID-19 remain unknown. Natural killer (NK) cells provide innate immune defense against viral infections and are known to be activated during moderate and severe COVID-19. Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) mediate NK cell cytotoxicity through recognition of an altered MHC-I expression on infected target cells. However, the influence of KIR genotype on outcome of patients with COVID-19 has not been investigated so far. We retrospectively analyzed the outcome associations of NK cell count and KIR genotype of patients with COVID-19 related severe ARDS treated on our tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) between February and June 2020 and validated our findings in an independent validation cohort of patients with moderate COVID-19 admitted to our tertiary medical center. RESULTS: Median age of all patients in the discovery cohort (n = 16) was 61 years (range 50-71 years). All patients received invasive mechanical ventilation; 11 patients (68%) required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Patients who recovered from COVID-19 had significantly higher median NK cell counts during the whole observational period compared to patients who died (121 cells/µL, range 16-602 cells/µL vs 81 cells/µL, range 6-227 cells/µL, p-value = 0.01). KIR2DS5 positivity was significantly associated with shorter time to recovery (21.6 ± 2.8 days vs. 44.6 ± 2.2 days, p-value = 0.01). KIR2DS5 positivity was significantly associated with freedom from transfer to ICU (0% vs 9%, p-value = 0.04) in the validation cohort which consisted of 65 patients with moderate COVID-19. CONCLUSION: NK cells and KIR genotype might have an impact on recovery from COVID-19.

14.
ERJ Open Res ; 7(3)2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371950

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection control measures for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) might have affected management and clinical state of patients with COPD. We analysed to which extent this common notion is fact-based. METHODS: Patients of the COSYCONET cohort were contacted with three recurring surveys (COVID1, 2 and 3 at 0, 3 and 6 months, respectively). The questionnaires comprised behaviour, clinical and functional state, and medical treatment. The responses to the questionnaires were compared amongst themselves and with pre-COVID information from the last visit of COSYCONET. RESULTS: Overall, 594 patients were contacted and 375 patients (58% males, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) 61±22% predicted) provided valid data in COVID1 and COVID2. Five patients reported infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Most patients - except for patients with higher education - reported compliance with recommended protective measures, whereby compliance to hygiene, contact and access to physicians slightly improved between COVID1 and COVID2. Also, patients obtained more information from physicians than from public media. In the majority of cases, the personal physician could not be substituted by remote consultation. Over time, symptoms slightly increased and self-assessed physical capacity decreased. Results of COVID3 were similar. Women and patients with more exacerbations and dyspnoea avoided medical consultations, whereas Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) D patients were more amenable to tele-consultation. CONCLUSION: In well-characterised COPD patients, we observed on average slight deteriorations of clinical state during the period of COVID-19 restrictions, with high and partially increasing adherence to protective measures. The data suggest that in particular, women and GOLD D patients should be actively contacted by physicians to identify deteriorations.

16.
J Anesth ; 35(5): 625-632, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281280

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this retrospective study, we compared inhaled sedation with isoflurane to intravenous propofol in invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). METHODS: Charts of all 20 patients with COVID-19 ARDS admitted to the ICU of a German University Hospital during the first wave of the pandemic between 22/03/2020 and 21/04/2020 were reviewed. Among screened 333 days, isoflurane was used in 97 days, while in 187 days, propofol was used for 12 h or more. The effect and dose of these two sedatives were compared. Mixed sedation days were excluded. RESULTS: Patients' age (median [interquartile range]) was 64 (60-68) years. They were invasively ventilated for 36 [21-50] days. End-tidal isoflurane concentrations were high (0.96 ± 0.41 Vol %); multiple linear regression yielded the ratio (isoflurane infusion rate)/(minute ventilation) as the single best predictor. Infusion rates were decreased under ECMO (3.5 ± 1.4 versus 7.1 ± 3.2 ml∙h-1; p < 0.001). In five patients, the maximum recommended dose of propofol of 4 mg∙hour-1∙kg-1ABW was exceeded on several days. On isoflurane compared to propofol days, neuro-muscular blocking agents (NMBAs) were used less frequently (11% versus 21%; p < 0.05), as were co-sedatives (7% versus 31%, p < 0.001); daily opioid doses were lower (720 [720-960] versus 1080 [720-1620] mg morphine equivalents, p < 0.001); and RASS scores indicated deeper levels of sedation (- 4.0 [- 4.0 to - 3.0] versus - 3.0 [- 3.6 to - 2.5]; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Isoflurane provided sufficient sedation with less NMBAs, less polypharmacy and lower opioid doses compared to propofol. High doses of both drugs were needed in severely ill COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Isoflurane , Propofol , Conscious Sedation , Critical Illness , Humans , Hypnotics and Sedatives/adverse effects , Intensive Care Units , Isoflurane/adverse effects , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Case Rep Pulmonol ; 2021: 5546723, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2020, a novel coronavirus caused a global pandemic with a clinical picture termed COVID-19, accounting for numerous cases of ARDS. However, there are still other infectious causes of ARDS that should be considered, especially as the majority of these pathogens are specifically treatable. Case Presentation. We present the case of a 36-year-old gentleman who was admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms, after completing a half-marathon one week before admission. As infection with SARS-CoV-2 was suspected based on radiologic imaging, the hypoxemic patient was immediately transferred to the ICU, where he developed ARDS. Empiric antimicrobial chemotherapy was initiated, the patient deteriorated further, therapy was changed, and the patient was transferred to a tertiary care ARDS center. As cold agglutinins were present, the hypothesis of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 was then questioned. Bronchoscopic sampling revealed Mycoplasma (M.) pneumoniae. When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. CONCLUSION: Usually, M. pneumoniae causes mild disease. When antimicrobial chemotherapy was adjusted, the patient recovered quickly. The case underlines the importance to adhere to established treatment guidelines, scrutinize treatment modalities, and not to forget other potential causes of severe pneumonia or ARDS.

19.
Pneumologie ; 75(11): 846-855, 2021 Nov.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246446

ABSTRACT

Tobacco smoking is associated with severe health risks. In 2020, the WHO estimated that 8 million people have died due to smoking. Furthermore, smoking tobacco is a well-known risk factor for various infectious pulmonary diseases. The question raised, whether smoking is facilitating SARS-CoV-2-infections and increases adverse outcomes of COVID-19. To answer these questions a narrative review was conducted, finally including 7 systematic reviews with meta-analyses published in January and February 2021. Tobacco smoking was associated with an increased COVID-19 disease severity (odds ratio range of active vs. never smokers 1.55-2.19 and former vs. never smokers 1.20-2.48) and an increased COVID-19 in-hospital mortality (odds ratio range of active vs. never smokers 1.35-1.51 and former vs. never smokers 1.26-2.58). Beside immediate pulmonary toxic effects through active smoking, the cumulative livelong tobacco exposition and subsequent tobacco-associated diseases seem to predominantly predict adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Data regarding an increased risk of infection among smokers is conflicting. However, a large observational study from England with 2.4 million persons reported an association between tobacco smoking and typical symptoms of COVID-19. For e-cigarettes and vaping less data exist, but experimental and first clinical investigations also suggest an increased risk for adverse outcomes for their use and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Especially during the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with limited therapeutic options it is particularly important to advise smokers of their increased risks for unfavourable COVID-19 outcomes. Evidence based support for smoking cessation should be offered. In Germany, the existing and well-established methods to support tobacco cessation need to be reimbursed by statutory health insurances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Smoking Cessation , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking/adverse effects , Tobacco Smoking
20.
Nature ; 594(7862): 265-270, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246377

ABSTRACT

Fast and reliable detection of patients with severe and heterogeneous illnesses is a major goal of precision medicine1,2. Patients with leukaemia can be identified using machine learning on the basis of their blood transcriptomes3. However, there is an increasing divide between what is technically possible and what is allowed, because of privacy legislation4,5. Here, to facilitate the integration of any medical data from any data owner worldwide without violating privacy laws, we introduce Swarm Learning-a decentralized machine-learning approach that unites edge computing, blockchain-based peer-to-peer networking and coordination while maintaining confidentiality without the need for a central coordinator, thereby going beyond federated learning. To illustrate the feasibility of using Swarm Learning to develop disease classifiers using distributed data, we chose four use cases of heterogeneous diseases (COVID-19, tuberculosis, leukaemia and lung pathologies). With more than 16,400 blood transcriptomes derived from 127 clinical studies with non-uniform distributions of cases and controls and substantial study biases, as well as more than 95,000 chest X-ray images, we show that Swarm Learning classifiers outperform those developed at individual sites. In addition, Swarm Learning completely fulfils local confidentiality regulations by design. We believe that this approach will notably accelerate the introduction of precision medicine.


Subject(s)
Blockchain , Clinical Decision-Making/methods , Confidentiality , Datasets as Topic , Machine Learning , Precision Medicine/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Leukemia/diagnosis , Leukemia/pathology , Leukocytes/pathology , Lung Diseases/diagnosis , Machine Learning/trends , Male , Software , Tuberculosis/diagnosis
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