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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e054069, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606566

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The first COVID-19-19 epidemic wave was over the period of February-May 2020. Since 1 October 2020, Italy, as many other European countries, faced a second wave. The aim of this analysis was to compare the 28-day mortality between the two waves among COVID-19 hospitalised patients. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. Standard survival analysis was performed to compare all-cause mortality within 28 days after hospital admission in the two waves. Kaplan-Meier curves as well as Cox regression model analysis were used. The effect of wave on risk of death was shown by means of HRs with 95% CIs. A sensitivity analysis around the impact of the circulating variant as a potential unmeasured confounder was performed. SETTING: University Hospital of Modena, Italy. Patients admitted to the hospital for severe COVID-19 pneumonia during the first (22 February-31 May 2020) and second (1 October-31 December 2020) waves were included. RESULTS: During the two study periods, a total of 1472 patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia were admitted to our hospital, 449 during the first wave and 1023 during the second. Median age was 70 years (IQR 56-80), 37% women, 49% with PaO2/FiO2 <250 mm Hg, 82% with ≥1 comorbidity, median duration of symptoms was 6 days. 28-day mortality rate was 20.0% (95% CI 16.3 to 23.7) during the first wave vs 14.2% (95% CI 12.0 to 16.3) in the second (log-rank test p value=0.03). After including key predictors of death in the multivariable Cox regression model, the data still strongly suggested a lower 28-day mortality rate in the second wave (aHR=0.64, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.90, p value=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In our hospitalised patients with COVID-19 with severe pneumonia, the 28-day mortality appeared to be reduced by 36% during the second as compared with the first wave. Further studies are needed to identify factors that may have contributed to this improved survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
2.
Eur J Immunol ; 2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555185

ABSTRACT

To better understand the mechanisms at the basis of neutrophil functions during SARS-CoV-2 we studied patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. They had high blood proportion of degranulated neutrophils and elevated plasma levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO), elastase and MPO-DNA complexes, which are typical markers of neutrophil extracellular traps (NET). Their neutrophils display dysfunctional mitochondria, defective oxidative burst, increased glycolysis, glycogen accumulation in the cytoplasm, and increase glycogenolysis. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (ΗΙF-1α) is stabilized in such cells, and it controls the level of glycogen phosphorylase L (PYGL), a key enzyme in glycogenolysis. Inhibiting PYGL abolishes the ability of neutrophils to produce NET. Patients displayed significant increases of plasma levels of molecules involved in the regulation of neutrophils' function, including CCL2, CXCL10, CCL20, IL-18, IL-3, IL-6, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ. Our data suggest that metabolic remodelling is vital for the formation of NET and for boosting neutrophil inflammatory response, thus suggesting that modulating ΗΙF-1α or PYGL could represent a novel approach for innovative therapies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

3.
BMC Pulm Med ; 21(1): 307, 2021 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The main clinical consequences of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are pneumonia and respiratory failure even requiring mechanical ventilation. In this context, the lung parenchyma is highly prone to ventilator-related injury, with pneumothorax and persistent air leak as the most serious adverse events. So far, endobronchial valve (EBV) positioning has proved efficacious in treating air leaks with a high success rate. CASE PRESENTATION: We report, for the first time, two cases of patients affected by SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia complicated with bacterial super-infection, experiencing pneumothorax and persistent air leaks after invasive mechanical ventilation. Despite the severity of respiratory failure both patients underwent rigid interventional bronchoscopy and were successfully treated through EBV positioning. CONCLUSIONS: Persistent air leaks may result from lung tissue damage due to a complex interaction between inflammation and ventilator-related injury (VILI), especially in the advanced stages of ARDS. EBV positioning seems to be a feasible and effective minimally invasive therapeutic option for treating this subset of patients.


Subject(s)
Bronchial Fistula/surgery , COVID-19/therapy , Pleural Diseases/surgery , Pneumothorax/surgery , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Aged , Bronchoscopy/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Respiratory Tract Fistula/surgery , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
4.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408530

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) related to SARS-CoV-2 infection has some unusual characteristics that differentiate it from the pathophysiology described in the more 'typical' ARDS. Among multiple hypotheses, a close similarity has been suggested between COVID-19 ARDS and neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). With this opinion paper, we investigated the pathophysiological similarities between infant respiratory diseases (RDS and direct neonatal ARDS (NARDS)) and COVID-19 in adults. We also analysed, for the first time, similarities in the response to exogenous surfactant administration in terms of improved static compliance in RDS and direct NARDS, and adult COVID-19 ARDS. In conclusion, we believe that if the pathological processes are similar both from the pathophysiological point of view and from the response in respiratory mechanics to a recruitment treatment such as surfactant, perhaps the latter could be considered a plausible option and lead to recruitment in clinical trials currently ongoing on patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Surfactants , Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pulmonary Surfactants/therapeutic use , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn/drug therapy
5.
Biomedicines ; 9(9)2021 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408456

ABSTRACT

The synergic combination of D-dimer (as proxy of thrombotic/vascular injury) and static compliance (as proxy of parenchymal injury) in predicting mortality in COVID-19-ARDS has not been systematically evaluated. The objective is to determine whether the combination of elevated D-dimer and low static compliance can predict mortality in patients with COVID-19-ARDS. A "training sample" (March-June 2020) and a "testing sample" (September 2020-January 2021) of adult patients invasively ventilated for COVID-19-ARDS were collected in nine hospitals. D-dimer and compliance in the first 24 h were recorded. Study outcome was all-cause mortality at 28-days. Cut-offs for D-dimer and compliance were identified by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Mutually exclusive groups were selected using classification tree analysis with chi-square automatic interaction detection. Time to death in the resulting groups was estimated with Cox regression adjusted for SOFA, sex, age, PaO2/FiO2 ratio, and sample (training/testing). "Training" and "testing" samples amounted to 347 and 296 patients, respectively. Three groups were identified: D-dimer ≤ 1880 ng/mL (LD); D-dimer > 1880 ng/mL and compliance > 41 mL/cmH2O (LD-HC); D-dimer > 1880 ng/mL and compliance ≤ 41 mL/cmH2O (HD-LC). 28-days mortality progressively increased in the three groups (from 24% to 35% and 57% (training) and from 27% to 39% and 60% (testing), respectively; p < 0.01). Adjusted mortality was significantly higher in HD-LC group compared with LD (HR = 0.479, p < 0.001) and HD-HC (HR = 0.542, p < 0.01); no difference was found between LD and HD-HC. In conclusion, combination of high D-dimer and low static compliance identifies a clinical phenotype with high mortality in COVID-19-ARDS.

6.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403851

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Herpes simplex 1 co-infections in patients with COVID-19 are considered relatively uncommon; some reports on re-activations in patients in intensive-care units were published. The aim of the study was to analyze herpetic re-activations and their clinical manifestations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, performing HSV-1 PCR on plasma twice a week. METHODS: we conducted a prospective, observational, single-center study involving 70 consecutive patients with severe/critical SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia tested for HSV-1 hospitalized at Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Modena. RESULTS: of these 70 patients, 21 (30.0%) showed detectable viremia and 13 (62%) had clinically relevant manifestations of HSV-1 infection corresponding to 15 events (4 pneumonia, 5 herpes labialis, 3 gingivostomatitis, one encephalitis and two hepatitis). HSV-1 positive patients were more frequently treated with steroids than HSV-1 negative patients (76.2% vs. 49.0%, p = 0.036) and more often underwent mechanical ventilation (IMV) (57.1% vs. 22.4%, p = 0.005). In the unadjusted logistic regression analysis, steroid treatment, IMV, and higher LDH were significantly associated with an increased risk of HSV1 re-activation (odds ratio 3.33, 4.61, and 16.9, respectively). The association with the use of steroids was even stronger after controlling for previous use of both tocilizumab and IMV (OR = 5.13, 95% CI:1.36-19.32, p = 0.016). The effect size was larger when restricting to participants who were treated with high doses of steroids while there was no evidence to support an association with the use of tocilizumab Conclusions: our study shows a high incidence of HSV-1 re-activation both virologically and clinically in patients with SARS-CoV-2 severe pneumonia, especially in those treated with steroids.

7.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0251378, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The benefit of tocilizumab on mortality and time to recovery in people with severe COVID pneumonia may depend on appropriate timing. The objective was to estimate the impact of tocilizumab administration on switching respiratory support states, mortality and time to recovery. METHODS: In an observational study, a continuous-time Markov multi-state model was used to describe the sequence of respiratory support states including: no respiratory support (NRS), oxygen therapy (OT), non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), OT in recovery, NRS in recovery. RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-one consecutive adult patients were included in the analyses contributing to 695 transitions across states. The prevalence of patients in each respiratory support state was estimated with stack probability plots, comparing people treated with and without tocilizumab since the beginning of the OT state. A positive effect of tocilizumab on the probability of moving from the invasive and non-invasive mechanical NIV/IMV state to the OT in recovery state (HR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.2-5.2) was observed. Furthermore, a reduced risk of death was observed in patients in NIV/IMV (HR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1-0.7) or in OT (HR = 0.1, 95% CI = 0.0-0.8) treated with tocilizumab. CONCLUSION: To conclude, we were able to show the positive impact of tocilizumab used in different disease stages depicted by respiratory support states. The use of the multi-state Markov model allowed to harmonize the heterogeneous mortality and recovery endpoints and summarize results with stack probability plots. This approach could inform randomized clinical trials regarding tocilizumab, support disease management and hospital decision making.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Respiratory Therapy/methods , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Markov Chains , Middle Aged , Noninvasive Ventilation , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Respiration, Artificial , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
8.
J Clin Med ; 10(16)2021 Aug 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348654

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Adjunctive therapy with polyclonal intravenous immunoglobins (IVIg) is currently used for preventing or managing infections and sepsis, especially in immunocompromised patients. The pathobiology of COVID-19 and the mechanisms of action of Ig led to the consideration of this adjunctive therapy, including in patients with respiratory failure due to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. This manuscript reports the rationale, the available data and the results of a structured consensus on intravenous Ig therapy in patients with severe COVID-19. METHODS: A panel of multidisciplinary experts defined the clinical phenotypes of COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory failure and, after literature review, voted for the agreement on the rationale and the potential role of IVIg therapy for each phenotype. Due to the scarce evidence available, a modified RAND/UCLA appropriateness method was used. RESULTS: Three different phenotypes of COVID-19 patients with severe respiratory failure were identified: patients with an abrupt and dysregulated hyperinflammatory response (early phase), patients with suspected immune paralysis (late phase) and patients with sepsis due to a hospital-acquired superinfection (sepsis by bacterial superinfection). The rationale for intravenous Ig therapy in the early phase was considered uncertain whereas the panelists considered its use in the late phase and patients with sepsis/septic shock by bacterial superinfection appropriate. CONCLUSION: As with other immunotherapies, IVIg adjunctive therapy may have a potential role in the management of COVID-19 patients. The ongoing trials will clarify the appropriate target population and the true effectiveness.

10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 12716, 2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275959

ABSTRACT

Monocyte Distribution Width (MDW), a new cytometric parameter correlating with cytomorphologic changes occurring upon massive monocyte activation, has recently emerged as promising early biomarker of sepsis. Similar to sepsis, monocyte/macrophage subsets are considered key mediators of the life-threatening hyper-inflammatory disorder characterizing severe COVID-19. In this study, we longitudinally analyzed MDW values in a cohort of 87 COVID-19 patients consecutively admitted to our hospital, showing significant correlations between MDW and common inflammatory markers, namely CRP (p < 0.001), fibrinogen (p < 0.001) and ferritin (p < 0.01). Moreover, high MDW values resulted to be prognostically associated with fatal outcome in COVID-19 patients (AUC = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.66-0.87, sensitivity 0.75, specificity 0.70, MDW threshold 26.4; RR = 4.91, 95% CI: 1.73-13.96; OR = 7.14, 95% CI: 2.06-24.71). This pilot study shows that MDW can be useful in the monitoring of COVID-19 patients, as this innovative hematologic biomarker is: (1) easy to obtain, (2) directly related to the activation state of a fundamental inflammatory cell subset (i.e. monocytes, pivotal in both cytokine storm and sepsis immunopathogenesis), (3) well correlated with clinical severity of COVID-19-associated inflammatory disorder, and, in turn, (4) endowed with relevant prognostic significance. Additional studies are needed to define further the clinical impact of MDW testing in the management of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Cell Size , Monocytes/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Ferritins/blood , Fibrinogen/analysis , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission , Pilot Projects , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
11.
Pulmonology ; 2021 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in two teaching hospitals over a 3-month period (March 2010-June 2020) comparing severe and critical COVID-19 patients admitted to Respiratory Intensive Care Unit for non-invasive respiratory support (NRS) and subjected to awake prone position (PP) with those receiving standard care (SC). Primary outcome was endotracheal intubation (ETI) rate. In-hospital mortality, time to ETI, tracheostomy, length of RICU and hospital stay served as secondary outcomes. Risk factors associated to ETI among PP patients were also investigated. RESULTS: A total of 114 patients were included, 76 in the SC and 38 in the PP group. Unadjusted Kaplan-Meier estimates showed greater effect of PP compared to SC on ETI rate (HR = 0.45 95% CI [0.2-0.9], p = 0.02) even after adjustment for baseline confounders (HR = 0.59 95% CI [0.3-0.94], p = 0.03). After stratification according to non-invasive respiratory support, PP showed greater significant benefit for those on High Flow Nasal Cannulae (HR = 0.34 95% CI [0.12-0.84], p = 0.04). Compared to SC, PP patients also showed a favorable difference in terms of days free from respiratory support, length of RICU and hospital stay while mortality and tracheostomy rate were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS: Prone positioning in awake and spontaneously breathing Covid-19 patients is feasible and associated with a reduction of intubation rate, especially in those patients undergoing HFNC. Although our results are intriguing, further randomized controlled trials are needed to answer all the open questions remaining pending about the real efficacy of PP in this setting.

12.
J Clin Med ; 10(5)2021 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125725

ABSTRACT

The mechanisms of acute respiratory failure other than inflammation and complicating the SARS-CoV-2 infection are still far from being fully understood, thus challenging the management of COVID-19 patients in the critical care setting. In this unforeseen scenario, the role of an individual's excessive spontaneous breathing may acquire critical importance, being one potential and important driver of lung injury and disease progression. The consequences of this acute lung damage may impair lung structure, forecasting the model of a fragile respiratory system. This perspective article aims to analyze the progression of injured lung phenotypes across the SARS-CoV-2 induced respiratory failure, pointing out the role of spontaneous breathing and also tackling the specific respiratory/ventilatory strategy required by the fragile lung type.

13.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0239172, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922701

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The aim of this study was to estimate a 48 hour prediction of moderate to severe respiratory failure, requiring mechanical ventilation, in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: This was an observational prospective study that comprised consecutive patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to hospital from 21 February to 6 April 2020. The patients' medical history, demographic, epidemiologic and clinical data were collected in an electronic patient chart. The dataset was used to train predictive models using an established machine learning framework leveraging a hybrid approach where clinical expertise is applied alongside a data-driven analysis. The study outcome was the onset of moderate to severe respiratory failure defined as PaO2/FiO2 ratio <150 mmHg in at least one of two consecutive arterial blood gas analyses in the following 48 hours. Shapley Additive exPlanations values were used to quantify the positive or negative impact of each variable included in each model on the predicted outcome. RESULTS: A total of 198 patients contributed to generate 1068 usable observations which allowed to build 3 predictive models based respectively on 31-variables signs and symptoms, 39-variables laboratory biomarkers and 91-variables as a composition of the two. A fourth "boosted mixed model" included 20 variables was selected from the model 3, achieved the best predictive performance (AUC = 0.84) without worsening the FN rate. Its clinical performance was applied in a narrative case report as an example. CONCLUSION: This study developed a machine model with 84% prediction accuracy, which is able to assist clinicians in decision making process and contribute to develop new analytics to improve care at high technology readiness levels.


Subject(s)
Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Machine Learning , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Blood Gas Analysis , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
14.
EMBO Mol Med ; 12(12): e13001, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-881540

ABSTRACT

In patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 who experience an exaggerated inflammation leading to pneumonia, monocytes likely play a major role but have received poor attention. Thus, we analyzed peripheral blood monocytes from patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and found that these cells show signs of altered bioenergetics and mitochondrial dysfunction, had a reduced basal and maximal respiration, reduced spare respiratory capacity, and decreased proton leak. Basal extracellular acidification rate was also diminished, suggesting reduced capability to perform aerobic glycolysis. Although COVID-19 monocytes had a reduced ability to perform oxidative burst, they were still capable of producing TNF and IFN-γ in vitro. A significantly high amount of monocytes had depolarized mitochondria and abnormal mitochondrial ultrastructure. A redistribution of monocyte subsets, with a significant expansion of intermediate/pro-inflammatory cells, and high amounts of immature monocytes were found, along with a concomitant compression of classical monocytes, and an increased expression of inhibitory checkpoints like PD-1/PD-L1. High plasma levels of several inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, IL-18, CCL2, CXCL10, and osteopontin, finally confirm the importance of monocytes in COVID-19 immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Energy Metabolism/physiology , Mitochondria/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokines/blood , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/ultrastructure , Monocytes/cytology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): e252-e255, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729104

ABSTRACT

We report two fatal cases of acute liver failure secondary to herpes simplex virus 1 infection in COVID-19 patients, following tocilizumab and corticosteroid therapy. Screening for and prompt recognition of herpes simplex virus 1 reactivation in these patients, undergoing immunomodulatory treatment, may have potentially relevant clinical consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Herpes Simplex , Herpesvirus 1, Human , Liver Failure, Acute , Humans , Immunomodulation , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Trials ; 21(1): 724, 2020 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717548

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the hypothesis that an adjunctive therapy with methylprednisolone and unfractionated heparin (UFH) or with methylprednisolone and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are more effective in reducing any-cause mortality in critically-ill ventilated patients with pneumonia from SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to LMWH alone. TRIAL DESIGN: The study is designed as a multi-centre, interventional, parallel group, superiority, randomized, investigator sponsored, three arms study. Patients, who satisfy all inclusion criteria and no exclusion criteria, will be randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups in a ratio 1:1:1. PARTICIPANTS: Inpatients will be recruited from 8 Italian Academic and non-Academic Intensive Care Units INCLUSION CRITERIA (ALL REQUIRED): 1. Positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic (on pharyngeal swab of deep airways material) 2. Positive pressure ventilation (either non-invasive or invasive) from > 24 hours 3. Invasive mechanical ventilation from < 96 hours 4. PaO2/FiO2 ratio lower than 150 mmHg 5. D-dimer level > 6 times the upper limit of normal reference range 6. C-reactive Protein > 6-fold upper the limit of normal reference range EXCLUSION CRITERIA: 1. Age < 18 years 2. On-going treatment with anticoagulant drugs 3. Platelet count < 100.000/mm3 4. History of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia 5. Allergy to sodium enoxaparin or other LMWH, UFH or methylprednisolone 6. Active bleeding or on-going clinical condition deemed at high risk of bleeding contraindicating anticoagulant treatment 7. Recent (in the last 1 month prior to randomization) brain, spinal or ophthalmic surgery 8. Chronic assumption or oral corticosteroids 9. Pregnancy or breastfeeding or positive pregnancy test. In childbearing age women, before inclusion, a pregnancy test will be performed if not available 10. Clinical decision to withhold life-sustaining treatment or "too sick to benefit" 11. Presence of other severe diseases impairing life expectancy (e.g. patients are not expected to survive 28 days given their pre-existing medical condition) 12. Lack or withdrawal of informed consent INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: • LMWH group: patients in this group will be administered enoxaparin at standard prophylactic dosage. • LMWH + steroid group: patients in this group will receive enoxaparin at standard prophylactic dosage and methylprednisolone. • UFH + steroid group: patients in this group will receive UFH at therapeutic dosages and methylprednisolone. UFH will be administered intravenously in UFH + steroid group at therapeutic doses. The infusion will be started at an infusion rate of 18 UI/kg/hour and then modified to obtain aPTT Ratio in between the range of 1.5-2.0. aPTT will be periodically checked at intervals no longer than 12 hours. The treatment with UFH will be administered up to ICU discharge. After ICU discharge anticoagulant therapy may be interrupted or switched to prophylaxis with LMWH in the destination ward up to clinical judgement of the attending physician. Enoxaparin will be administered in both LMWH group and LMWH + steroid group at standard prophylactic dose (i.e., 4000 UI once day, increased to 6000 UI once day for patients weighting more than 90 kg). The treatment will be administered subcutaneously once a day up to ICU discharge. After ICU discharge it may be continued or interrupted in the destination ward up to clinical judgement of the attending physician. Methylprednisolone will be administered in both LMWH + steroid group and UHF + steroid group intravenously with an initial bolus of 0,5 mg/kg followed by administration of 0,5 mg/kg 4 times daily for 7 days, 0,5 mg/kg 3 times daily from day 8 to day 10, 0,5 mg/kg 2 times daily at days 11 and 12 and 0,5 mg/kg once daily at days 13 and 14. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary Efficacy Endpoint: All-cause mortality at day 28 Secondary Efficacy Endpoints: - Ventilation free days (VFDs) at day 28, defined as the total number of days that patient is alive and free of ventilation (either invasive or non-invasive) between randomization and day 28 (censored at hospital discharge). - Need of rescue administration of high-dose steroids or immune-modulatory drugs; - Occurrence of switch from non-invasive to invasive mechanical ventilation during ICU stay; - Delay from start of non-invasive ventilation to switch to invasive ventilation; - All-cause mortality at ICU discharge and hospital discharge; - ICU free days (IFDs) at day 28, defined as the total number of days between ICU discharge and day 28. - Occurrence of new infections from randomization to day 28; including infections by Candida, Aspergillus, Adenovirus, Herpes Virus e Cytomegalovirus - Occurrence of new organ dysfunction and grade of dysfunction during ICU stay. - Objectively confirmed venous thromboembolism, stroke or myocardial infarction; Safety endpoints: - Occurrence of major bleeding, defined as transfusion of 2 or more units of packed red blood cells in a day, bleeding that occurs in at least one of the following critical sites [intracranial, intra-spinal, intraocular (within the corpus of the eye; thus, a conjunctival bleed is not an intraocular bleed), pericardial, intra-articular, intramuscular with compartment syndrome, or retroperitoneal], bleeding that necessitates surgical intervention and bleeding that is fatal (defined as a bleeding event that was the primary cause of death or contributed directly to death); - Occurrence of clinically relevant non-major bleeding, defined ad acute clinically overt bleeding that does not meet the criteria for major and consists of any bleeding compromising hemodynamic; spontaneous hematoma larger than 25 cm2, intramuscular hematoma documented by ultrasonography, haematuria that was macroscopic and was spontaneous or lasted for more than 24 hours after invasive procedures; haemoptysis, hematemesis or spontaneous rectal bleeding requiring endoscopy or other medical intervention or any other bleeding requiring temporary cessation of a study drug. RANDOMIZATION: A block randomisation will be used with variable block sizes (block size 4-6-8), stratified by 3 factors: Centre, BMI (<30/≥30) and Age (<75/≥75). Central randomisation will be performed using a secure, web-based, randomisation system with an allocation ratio of 1:1:1. The allocation sequence will be generated by the study statistician using computer generated random numbers. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants to the study will be blinded to group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The target sample size is based on the hypothesis that the combined use of UHF and steroid versus the LMWH group will significantly reduce the risk of death at day 28. The overall sample size in this study is expected to be 210 with a randomization 1:1:1 and seventy patients in each group. Assuming an alpha of 2.5% (two tailed) and mortality rate in LMWH group of 50%, as indicated from initial studies of ICU patients, the study will have an 80% power to detect at least a 25 % absolute reduction in the risk of death between: a) LMHW + steroid group and LMWH group or b) UHF + steroid group and LMWH group. The study has not been sized to assess the difference between LMHW + steroid group and UHF + steroid group, therefore the results obtained from this comparison will need to be interpreted with caution and will need further adequately sized studies confirm the effect. On the basis of a conservative estimation, that 8 participating sites admit an average of 3 eligible patients per month per centre (24 patients/month). Assuming that 80 % of eligible patients are enrolled, recruitment of 210 participants will be completed in approximately 10 months. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.1 of April 26th, 2020. Recruitment start (expected): September 1st, 2020 Recruitment finish (expected): June 30th, 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT number 2020-001921-30 , registered on April 15th, 2020 AIFA approval on May 4th, 2020 FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Critical Illness , Heparin/administration & dosage , Methylprednisolone/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiration, Artificial , Adult , COVID-19 , Heparin/adverse effects , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Methylprednisolone/adverse effects , Pandemics , Partial Thromboplastin Time , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Reprod Biomed Online ; 41(5): 903-906, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-664335

ABSTRACT

RESEARCH QUESTION: Can the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus induce testis damage and dysfunction? DESIGN: This is the description of the case of a young man presenting with heavy testicular pain as the first symptom of COVID-19 infection. A review of the literature is also presented. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 may enter into the host cell by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This receptor seems to be widely expressed in different testicular cell types, making possible the occurrence of orchitis in male patients with COVID-19 infection. From a review of the literature, it seems that there is currently no evidence of sexual transmission of SARS-CoV-2; however, the possibility of virus-induced testis damage and dysfunction cannot be excluded. CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are necessary on the pathological effect of SARS-CoV-2 in the male reproductive system and to ensure a proper andrological follow-up for male patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pelvic Pain/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Testicular Diseases/diagnosis , Testis/virology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Differential , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pelvic Pain/epidemiology , Pelvic Pain/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Testicular Diseases/epidemiology , Testicular Diseases/virology , Testis/pathology , Testis/physiology
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