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1.
Front Physiol ; 13: 932013, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089890

ABSTRACT

Peripheral blood smear is a simple laboratory tool, which remains of invaluable help for diagnosing primary and secondary abnormalities of blood cells despite advances in automated and molecular techniques. Red blood cells (RBCs) abnormalities are known to occur in many viral infections, typically in the form of mild normo-microcytic anemia. While several hematological alterations at automated complete blood count (including neutrophilia, lymphopenia, and increased red cell distribution width-RDW) have been consistently associated with severity of COVID-19, there is scarce information on RBCs morphological abnormalities, mainly as case-reports or small series of patients, which are hardly comparable due to heterogeneity in sampling times and definition of illness severity. We report here a systematic evaluation of RBCs morphology at peripheral blood smear in COVID-19 patients within the first 72 h from hospital admission. One hundred and fifteen patients were included, with detailed collection of other clinical variables and follow-up. A certain degree of abnormalities in RBCs morphology was observed in 75 (65%) patients. Heterogenous alterations were noted, with spiculated cells being the more frequent morphology. The group with >10% RBCs abnormalities had more consistent lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia compared to those without abnormalities or <10% RBCs abnormalities (p < 0.018, and p < 0.021, respectively), thus underpinning a possible association with an overall more sustained immune-inflammatory "stress" hematopoiesis. Follow-up analysis showed a different mortality rate across groups, with the highest rate in those with more frequent RBCs morphological alterations compared to those with <10% or no abnormalities (41.9%, vs. 20.5%, vs. 12.5%, respectively, p = 0.012). Despite the inherent limitations of such simple association, our results point out towards further studies on erythropoiesis alterations in the pathophysiology of COVID-19.

2.
Frontiers in physiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1940114

ABSTRACT

Peripheral blood smear is a simple laboratory tool, which remains of invaluable help for diagnosing primary and secondary abnormalities of blood cells despite advances in automated and molecular techniques. Red blood cells (RBCs) abnormalities are known to occur in many viral infections, typically in the form of mild normo-microcytic anemia. While several hematological alterations at automated complete blood count (including neutrophilia, lymphopenia, and increased red cell distribution width—RDW) have been consistently associated with severity of COVID-19, there is scarce information on RBCs morphological abnormalities, mainly as case-reports or small series of patients, which are hardly comparable due to heterogeneity in sampling times and definition of illness severity. We report here a systematic evaluation of RBCs morphology at peripheral blood smear in COVID-19 patients within the first 72 h from hospital admission. One hundred and fifteen patients were included, with detailed collection of other clinical variables and follow-up. A certain degree of abnormalities in RBCs morphology was observed in 75 (65%) patients. Heterogenous alterations were noted, with spiculated cells being the more frequent morphology. The group with >10% RBCs abnormalities had more consistent lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia compared to those without abnormalities or <10% RBCs abnormalities (p < 0.018, and p < 0.021, respectively), thus underpinning a possible association with an overall more sustained immune-inflammatory “stress” hematopoiesis. Follow-up analysis showed a different mortality rate across groups, with the highest rate in those with more frequent RBCs morphological alterations compared to those with <10% or no abnormalities (41.9%, vs. 20.5%, vs. 12.5%, respectively, p = 0.012). Despite the inherent limitations of such simple association, our results point out towards further studies on erythropoiesis alterations in the pathophysiology of COVID-19.

3.
JCI Insight ; 5(14)2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-607189

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDReprogramming of host metabolism supports viral pathogenesis by fueling viral proliferation, by providing, for example, free amino acids and fatty acids as building blocks.METHODSTo investigate metabolic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we evaluated serum metabolites of patients with COVID-19 (n = 33; diagnosed by nucleic acid testing), as compared with COVID-19-negative controls (n = 16).RESULTSTargeted and untargeted metabolomics analyses identified altered tryptophan metabolism into the kynurenine pathway, which regulates inflammation and immunity. Indeed, these changes in tryptophan metabolism correlated with interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. Widespread dysregulation of nitrogen metabolism was also seen in infected patients, with altered levels of most amino acids, along with increased markers of oxidant stress (e.g., methionine sulfoxide, cystine), proteolysis, and renal dysfunction (e.g., creatine, creatinine, polyamines). Increased circulating levels of glucose and free fatty acids were also observed, consistent with altered carbon homeostasis. Interestingly, metabolite levels in these pathways correlated with clinical laboratory markers of inflammation (i.e., IL-6 and C-reactive protein) and renal function (i.e., blood urea nitrogen).CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, this initial observational study identified amino acid and fatty acid metabolism as correlates of COVID-19, providing mechanistic insights, potential markers of clinical severity, and potential therapeutic targets.FUNDINGBoettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award; National Institute of General and Medical Sciences, NIH; and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Fatty Acids/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Kynurenine/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Renal Insufficiency/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Amino Acids/metabolism , Betacoronavirus , Blood Glucose/metabolism , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Creatine/metabolism , Creatinine/metabolism , Cystine , Fatty Acids, Nonesterified/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Metabolome , Metabolomics , Methionine/analogs & derivatives , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Polyamines/metabolism , Proteolysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Tryptophan/metabolism
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