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1.
Int J Cardiol ; 349: 157-165, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549827

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Compelling evidence has shown cardiac involvement in COVID-19 patients. However, the overall majority of these studies use data obtained during the first wave of the pandemic, while recently differences have been reported in disease course and mortality between first- and second wave COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare cardiac pathology between first- and second wave COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Autopsied hearts from first- (n = 15) and second wave (n = 10) COVID-19 patients and from 18 non-COVID-19 control patients were (immuno)histochemically analyzed. CD45+ leukocyte, CD68+ macrophage and CD3+ T lymphocyte infiltration, cardiomyocyte necrosis and microvascular thrombosis were quantified. In addition, the procoagulant factors Tissue Factor (TF), Factor VII (FVII), Factor XII (FXII), the anticoagulant protein Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 (DPP4) and the advanced glycation end-product N(ε)-Carboxymethyllysine (CML), as markers of microvascular thrombogenicity and dysfunction, were quantified. RESULTS: Cardiac inflammation was significantly decreased in second wave compared to first wave COVID-19 patients, predominantly related to a decrease in infiltrated lymphocytes and the occurrence of lymphocytic myocarditis. This was accompanied by significant decreases in cardiomyocyte injury and microvascular thrombosis. Moreover, microvascular deposits of FVII and CML were significantly lower in second wave compared to first wave COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that in our cohort of fatal COVID-19 cases cardiac inflammation, cardiomyocyte injury and microvascular thrombogenicity were markedly decreased in second wave compared to first wave patients. This may reflect advances in COVID-19 treatment related to an increased use of steroids in the second COVID-19 wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Inflammation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430195

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The diaphragm is the main muscle of inspiration, and its dysfunction contributes to adverse clinical outcomes in critically ill patients. We recently reported the infiltration of SARS-CoV-2, and the development of fibrosis, in the diaphragm of critically ill patients with COVID-19. In the current study, we aimed to characterise myofiber structure in the diaphragm of critically ill patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Diaphragm muscle specimens were collected during autopsy from patients who died of COVID-19 in three academic medical centres in the Netherlands in April and May 2020 (n=27). We studied diaphragm myofiber gene expression and structure and compared the findings obtained to those of deceased critically ill patients without COVID-19 (n=10). RESULTS: Myofibers of critically ill patients with COVID-19 showed on average larger cross-sectional area (slow-twitch myofibers: 2441±229 vs 1571±309 µm2; fast-twitch myofibers: 1966±209 vs 1225±222 µm2). Four critically ill patients with COVID-19 showed extremely large myofibers, which were splitting and contained many centralised nuclei. RNA-sequencing data revealed differentially expressed genes involved in muscle regeneration. CONCLUSION: Diaphragm of critically ill patients with COVID-19 has distinct myopathic features compared with critically ill patients without COVID-19, which may contribute to the ongoing dyspnoea and fatigue in the patients surviving COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Diaphragm/pathology , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Muscle Fibers, Skeletal/pathology , Netherlands
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