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1.
J Pers Med ; 12(6)2022 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911440

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To analyze the vaccine effect by comparing five groups: unvaccinated patients with Alpha variant, unvaccinated patients with Delta variant, vaccinated patients with Delta variant, unvaccinated patients with Omicron variant, and vaccinated patients with Omicron variant, assessing the "gravity" of COVID-19 pulmonary involvement, based on CT findings in critically ill patients admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU). METHODS: Patients were selected by ICU database considering the period from December 2021 to 23 March 2022, according to the following inclusion criteria: patients with proven Omicron variant COVID-19 infection with known COVID-19 vaccination with at least two doses and with chest Computed Tomography (CT) study during ICU hospitalization. Wee also evaluated the ICU database considering the period from March 2020 to December 2021, to select unvaccinated consecutive patients with Alpha variant, subjected to CT study, consecutive unvaccinated and vaccinated patients with Delta variant, subjected to CT study, and, consecutive unvaccinated patients with Omicron variant, subjected to CT study. CT images were evaluated qualitatively using a severity score scale of 5 levels (none involvement, mild: ≤25% of involvement, moderate: 26-50% of involvement, severe: 51-75% of involvement, and critical involvement: 76-100%) and quantitatively, using the Philips IntelliSpace Portal clinical application CT COPD computer tool. For each patient the lung volumetry was performed identifying the percentage value of aerated residual lung volume. Non-parametric tests for continuous and categorical variables were performed to assess statistically significant differences among groups. RESULTS: The patient study group was composed of 13 vaccinated patients affected by the Omicron variant (Omicron V). As control groups we identified: 20 unvaccinated patients with Alpha variant (Alpha NV); 20 unvaccinated patients with Delta variant (Delta NV); 18 vaccinated patients with Delta variant (Delta V); and 20 unvaccinated patients affected by the Omicron variant (Omicron NV). No differences between the groups under examination were found (p value > 0.05 at Chi square test) in terms of risk factors (age, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immunosuppression, chronic kidney, cardiac, pulmonary, neurologic, and liver disease, etc.). A different median value of aerated residual lung volume was observed in the Delta variant groups: median value of aerated residual lung volume was 46.70% in unvaccinated patients compared to 67.10% in vaccinated patients. In addition, in patients with Delta variant every other extracted volume by automatic tool showed a statistically significant difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated group. Statistically significant differences were observed for each extracted volume by automatic tool between unvaccinated patients affected by Alpha variant and vaccinated patients affected by Delta variant of COVID-19. Good statistically significant correlations among volumes extracted by automatic tool for each lung lobe and overall radiological severity score were obtained (ICC range 0.71-0.86). GGO was the main sign of COVID-19 lesions on CT images found in 87 of the 91 (95.6%) patients. No statistically significant differences were observed in CT findings (ground glass opacities (GGO), consolidation or crazy paving sign) among patient groups. CONCLUSION: In our study, we showed that in critically ill patients no difference were observed in terms of severity of disease or exitus, between unvaccinated and vaccinated patients. The only statistically significant differences were observed, with regard to the severity of COVID-19 pulmonary parenchymal involvement, between unvaccinated patients affected by Alpha variant and vaccinated patients affected by Delta variant, and between unvaccinated patients with Delta variant and vaccinated patients with Delta variant.

2.
Radiation ; 1(2):153, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1834873

ABSTRACT

Simple SummaryThe diagnostic imaging with a chest CT in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia is the key point for early screening, differential diagnosis, staging, the severity of the disease and to plan the possible therapy in the intensive care unit. The evolution of pulmonary changes in this setting requires multiple CT scans in a short period, especially for severe illness. The aim of this study is to assess if there was a variation dose in chest CT scans in COVID-19 patients compared to a cohort with pulmonary infectious diseases at the same time of the previous year to value if there is any modification of exposure dose. We compared 1660 chest CT scans of 597 COVID-19 patients with those of patients hospitalized for infectious respiratory diseases in the same period of the previous year. Our results show that COVID-19 patients are exposed to a higher dose of radiation than other patients, especially in the younger age groups.The CT manifestation of COVID-19 patients is now well known and essentially reflects pathological changes in the lungs. Actually, there is insufficient knowledge on the long-term outcomes of this new disease, and several chest CTs might be necessary to evaluate the outcomes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the radiation dose for chest CT scans in COVID-19 patients compared to a cohort with pulmonary infectious diseases at the same time of the previous year to value if there is any modification of exposure dose. The analysis of our data shows an increase in the overall mean dose in COVID-19 patients compared with non-COVID-19 patients. In our results, the higher dose increase occurs in the younger age groups (+86% range 21–30 years and +67% range 31–40 years). Our results show that COVID-19 patients are exposed to a significantly higher dose of ionizing radiation than other patients without COVID infectious lung disease, and especially in younger age groups, although some authors have proposed the use of radiotherapy in these patients, which is yet to be validated. Our study has limitations: the use of one CT machine in a single institute and a limited number of patients.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335491

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel cause of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). With the increase of ARDS cases during COVID-19 pandemic, the use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has grown significantly in the hospital ward. However, there is a lack of evidence to support its efficacy in these patients. Methods We conducted an observational cohort study including adult ARDS COVID-19 patients admitted in a third level COVID-center in Rome, Italy (Jan-Sep 2020). The study analyzed the rate of NIV failure defined by the occurrence of orotracheal intubation and/or death within 28 days from starting NIV, its effectiveness, and its relative risk of death. The factors associated with the outcomes were identified through a logistic regression analysis. Results During the study period, a total of 942 COVID-19 patients were admitted, of which 307 (32.5%) with ARDS at hospitalization. Overall, 224 (23.8%) were treated with NIV. NIV failure occurred in 84 (37.5%) patients. Moderate and severe ARDS had an increased risk of NIV failure within 28 days from starting NIV of 5- (aOR = 5.01, 95% CI 2.08–12.09) and 20-fold (aOR = 19.95, 5.31–74.94) respectively, compared to patients with mild ARDS. A total of 128 patients (13.5%) were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). At 28-day from ICU admission, COVID-19 patients treated with NIV without intubation had 96% lower mortality (aOR 0.04, 0.01–0.32) in comparison with patients that underwent orotracheal intubation without prior NIV. Conclusions NIV failure was independently associated with COVID-19 ARDS severity. Starting NIV in COVID-19 patients with already mild ARDS (P/F > 200 mmHg) appears to increase NIV effectiveness and reduce the risk of orotracheal intubation and/or death. Moreover, early NIV treatment seems to reduce the risk of ICU mortality within 28 days from ICU admission.

4.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820313

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Although COVID-19 is largely a respiratory disease, it is actually a systemic disease that has a wide range of effects that are not yet fully known. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, predictors and outcome of non-hepatic hyperammonemia (NHH) in COVID-19 in intensive care unit (ICU); (2) Methods: This is a 3-month prospective observational study in a third-level COVID-19 hospital. The authors collected demographic, clinical, severity score and outcome data. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of NHH; (3) Results: 156 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the ICU. The incidence of NHH was 12.2% (19 patients). The univariate analysis showed that invasive mechanical ventilation had a 6.6-fold higher risk (OR 6.66, 95% CI 0.86-51.6, p = 0.039) for NHH, while in the multiple regression analysis, there was a 7-fold higher risk for NHH-but it was not statistically significant (OR 7.1, 95% CI 0.90-56.4, p = 0.062). Demographics, clinical characteristics and mortality in the ICU at 28 days did not show a significant association with NHH. (4) Conclusions: The incidence of NHH in ICU COVID-19 patients was not low. NHH did not appear to significantly increase mortality, and all patients with non-hepatic hyperammonemia were successfully treated without further complications. However, the pathogenesis of NHH in ICU patients with COVID-19 remains a topic to be explored with further research.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323308

ABSTRACT

Prophylactic low molecular weight heparin (pLMWH) is currently recommended in COVID-19 to reduce the risk of coagulopathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the antinflammatory effects of pLMWH could translate in lower rate of clinical progression in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.Patients admitted to a COVID-hospital in Rome with SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild/moderate pneumonia were retrospectively evaluated. The primary endpoint was the time from hospital admission to orotracheal intubation/death (OTI/death). A total of 449 patients were included: 39% female, median age 63 (IQR, 50-77) years. The estimated probability of OTI/death for patients receiving pLMWH was: 9.5% (95%CI 3.2-26.4) by day 20 in those not receiving pLMWH vs. 10.4% (6.7-15.9) in those exposed to pLMWH;p-value=0.144. This risk associated with the use of pLMWH appeared to vary by PaO2/FiO2 ratio: aHR 1.40 (95%CI 0.51-3.79) for patients with an admission PaO2/FiO2 < 300 mmHg and 0.27 (0.03-2.18) for those with PaO2/FiO2 >300 mmHg;p-value at interaction test 0.16. pLMWH does not seem to reduce the risk of OTI/death mild/moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, especially when respiratory function had already significantly deteriorated. Data from clinical trials comparing the effect of prophylactic vs. therapeutic dosage of LMWH at various stages of COVID-19 disease are needed.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322655

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Benefits and timing of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients are still controversial. PDT is considered a high risk procedure for transmission of SARS CoV-2 to health care workers (HCWs). The present study analyzed optimal timing of PDT, clinical outcomes of patients undergoing PDT and safety of HCWs performing PDT. (2) Methods: 133 COVID-19 patients underwent PDT in our ICU from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, 23 patients were excluded and 110 patients were enrolled. A trained medical team was dedicated to the PDT procedure. Demographic, clinical history and outcome data were collected. Patients who underwent PDT were stratified into two groups: early group, PDT ≤12 days from orotracheal-intubation (OTI) and late group, &gt;12 days from OTI;HCW surveillance program was performed. (3) Results: Early group included 57 patients and late group included 53 patients. Early group patients showed shorter ICU length of stay and fewer days of mechanical ventilation than the late group (p&lt;0.001). At day 7 after tracheostomy, early group patients required fewer intravenous anesthetic drugs and experienced an improvement of ventilation parameters, PaO2/FiO2-Ratio, PEEP and FiO2 (p&lt;0.001). No difference in case fatality ratio between the two groups was reported. No SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported in HCWs performing PDT. (4) Conclusions: PDT was safe and effective for COVID-19 patients, since it improved respiratory support parameters, reduced ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, and optimized the weaning process. The procedure was safe for all HCWs involved in the dedicated medical team. The development of standardized early PDT protocols should be implemented and PDT procedure could be considered as first line approach in ICU COVID-19 requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318926

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 pathogen is a catastrophic pandemic outbreak all over the world with exponential increasing of confirmed cases and, unfortunately, deaths. In this work we propose an AI-powered pipeline, based on the deep-learning paradigm, for automated COVID-19 detection and lesion categorization from CT scans. We first propose a new segmentation module aimed at identifying automatically lung parenchyma and lobes. Next, we combined such segmentation network with classification networks for COVID-19 identification and lesion categorization. We compare the obtained classification results with those obtained by three expert radiologists on a dataset consisting of 162 CT scans. Results showed a sensitivity of 90\% and a specificity of 93.5% for COVID-19 detection, outperforming those yielded by the expert radiologists, and an average lesion categorization accuracy of over 84%. Results also show that a significant role is played by prior lung and lobe segmentation that allowed us to enhance performance by over 20 percent points. The interpretation of the trained AI models, moreover, reveals that the most significant areas for supporting the decision on COVID-19 identification are consistent with the lesions clinically associated to the virus, i.e., crazy paving, consolidation and ground glass. This means that the artificial models are able to discriminate a positive patient from a negative one (both controls and patients with interstitial pneumonia tested negative to COVID) by evaluating the presence of those lesions into CT scans. Finally, the AI models are integrated into a user-friendly GUI to support AI explainability for radiologists, which is publicly available at http://perceivelab.com/covid-ai.

8.
J Clin Med ; 10(23)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566682

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 is a novel cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Indeed, with the increase of ARDS cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an increase in the incidence of cases with pneumothorax (PNX) and pneumomediastinum (PNM). However, the incidence and the predictors of PNX/PMN in these patients are currently unclear and even conflicting. (2) Methods: The present observational study analyzed the incidence of barotrauma (PNX/PNM) in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS hospitalized in a year of the pandemic, also focusing on the three waves occurring during the year, and treated with positive-pressure ventilation (PPV). We collected demographic and clinical data. (3) Results: During this period, 40 patients developed PNX/PNM. The overall incidence of barotrauma in all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a year was 1.6%, and in those with moderate-severe ARDS in PPV was 7.2% and 3.8 events per 1000 positive-pressure ventilator days. The incidence of barotrauma in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients during the three waves was 7.8%, 7.4%, and 8.7%, respectively. Treatment with noninvasive respiratory support alone was associated with an incidence of barotrauma of 9.1% and 2.6 events per 1000 noninvasive ventilator days, of which 95% were admitted to the ICU after the event, due to a worsening of respiratory parameters. The incidence of barotrauma of ICU COVID-19 patients in invasive ventilation over a year was 5.8% and 2.7 events per 1000 invasive ventilator days. There was no significant difference in demographics and clinical features between the barotrauma and non-barotrauma group. The mortality was higher in the barotrauma group (17 patients died, 47.2%) than in the non-barotrauma group (170 patients died, 37%), although this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.429). (4) Conclusions: The incidence of PNX/PNM in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients did not differ significantly between the three waves over a year, and does not appear to be very different from that in ARDS patients in the pre-COVID era. The barotrauma does not appear to significantly increase mortality in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS if protective ventilation strategies are applied. Attention should be paid to the risk of barotrauma in COVID-19 patients in noninvasive ventilation because the event increases the probability of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and intubation.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294533

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented effect on national radiological investigations. Since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 as a global pandemic, health policies have been rapidly organized to limit the spread of the virus and decrease the risk of exposure. These restrictions, in combination with home-stay arrangements and the onset of economic recession. As a result of public policies, financial difficulties and patient fear, many radiology departments have suffered a significant reduction in diagnostic examinations with important implications for their economic stability. The aim of this work is to evaluate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Radiology Department of an infectious disease hospital.

10.
J Clin Med ; 10(23)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542621

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 is a novel cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Indeed, with the increase of ARDS cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an increase in the incidence of cases with pneumothorax (PNX) and pneumomediastinum (PNM). However, the incidence and the predictors of PNX/PMN in these patients are currently unclear and even conflicting. (2) Methods: The present observational study analyzed the incidence of barotrauma (PNX/PNM) in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS hospitalized in a year of the pandemic, also focusing on the three waves occurring during the year, and treated with positive-pressure ventilation (PPV). We collected demographic and clinical data. (3) Results: During this period, 40 patients developed PNX/PNM. The overall incidence of barotrauma in all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a year was 1.6%, and in those with moderate-severe ARDS in PPV was 7.2% and 3.8 events per 1000 positive-pressure ventilator days. The incidence of barotrauma in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients during the three waves was 7.8%, 7.4%, and 8.7%, respectively. Treatment with noninvasive respiratory support alone was associated with an incidence of barotrauma of 9.1% and 2.6 events per 1000 noninvasive ventilator days, of which 95% were admitted to the ICU after the event, due to a worsening of respiratory parameters. The incidence of barotrauma of ICU COVID-19 patients in invasive ventilation over a year was 5.8% and 2.7 events per 1000 invasive ventilator days. There was no significant difference in demographics and clinical features between the barotrauma and non-barotrauma group. The mortality was higher in the barotrauma group (17 patients died, 47.2%) than in the non-barotrauma group (170 patients died, 37%), although this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.429). (4) Conclusions: The incidence of PNX/PNM in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients did not differ significantly between the three waves over a year, and does not appear to be very different from that in ARDS patients in the pre-COVID era. The barotrauma does not appear to significantly increase mortality in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS if protective ventilation strategies are applied. Attention should be paid to the risk of barotrauma in COVID-19 patients in noninvasive ventilation because the event increases the probability of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and intubation.

11.
J Pers Med ; 11(11)2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488657

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate two commercial software and their efficacy in the assessment of chest CT sequelae in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia, comparing the consistency of tools. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Included in the study group were 120 COVID-19 patients (56 women and 104 men; 61 years of median age; range: 21-93 years) who underwent chest CT examinations at discharge between 5 March 2020 and 15 March 2021 and again at a follow-up time (3 months; range 30-237 days). A qualitative assessment by expert radiologists in the infectious disease field (experience of at least 5 years) was performed, and a quantitative evaluation using thoracic VCAR software (GE Healthcare, Chicago, Illinois, United States) and a pneumonia module of ANKE ASG-340 CT workstation (HTS Med & Anke, Naples, Italy) was performed. The qualitative evaluation included the presence of ground glass opacities (GGOs) consolidation, interlobular septal thickening, fibrotic-like changes (reticular pattern and/or honeycombing), bronchiectasis, air bronchogram, bronchial wall thickening, pulmonary nodules surrounded by GGOs, pleural and pericardial effusion, lymphadenopathy, and emphysema. A quantitative evaluation included the measurements of GGOs, consolidations, emphysema, residual healthy parenchyma, and total lung volumes for the right and left lung. A chi-square test and non-parametric test were utilized to verify the differences between groups. Correlation coefficients were used to analyze the correlation and variability among quantitative measurements by different computer tools. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed. RESULTS: The correlation coefficients showed great variability among the quantitative measurements by different tools when calculated on baseline CT scans and considering all patients. Instead, a good correlation (≥0.6) was obtained for the quantitative GGO, as well as the consolidation volumes obtained by two tools when calculated on baseline CT scans, considering the control group. An excellent correlation (≥0.75) was obtained for the quantitative residual healthy lung parenchyma volume, GGO, consolidation volumes obtained by two tools when calculated on follow-up CT scans, and for residual healthy lung parenchyma and GGO quantification when the percentage change of these volumes were calculated between a baseline and follow-up scan. The highest value of accuracy to identify patients with RT-PCR positive compared to the control group was obtained by a GGO total volume quantification by thoracic VCAR (accuracy = 0.75). CONCLUSIONS: Computer aided quantification could be an easy and feasible way to assess chest CT sequelae due to COVID-19 pneumonia; however, a great variability among measurements provided by different tools should be considered.

12.
J Clin Med ; 10(18)2021 Sep 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection present a hypercoagulable condition. Anticoagulant therapy is currently recommended to reduce thrombotic risk, leading to potentially severe complications like spontaneous bleeding (SB). Percutaneous transcatheter arterial embolization (PTAE) can be life-saving in critical patients, in addition to medical therapy. We report a major COVID-19 Italian Research Hospital experience during the pandemic, with particular focus on indications and technique of embolization. METHODS: We retrospectively included all subjects with SB and with a microbiologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, over one year of pandemic, selecting two different groups: (a) patients treated with PTAE and medical therapy; (b) patients treated only with medical therapy. Computed tomography (CT) scan findings, clinical conditions, and biological findings were collected. RESULTS: 21/1075 patients presented soft tissue SB with an incidence of 1.95%. 10/21 patients were treated with PTAE and medical therapy with a 30-days survival of 70%. Arterial blush, contrast late enhancement, and dimensions at CT scan were found discriminating for the embolization (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: PTAE is an important tool in severely ill, bleeding COVID-19 patients. The decision for PTAE of COVID-19 patients must be carefully weighted with particular attention paid to the clinical and biological condition, hematoma location and volume.

13.
J Clin Med ; 10(15)2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335120

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The benefits and timing of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients are still controversial. PDT is considered a high-risk procedure for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to healthcare workers (HCWs). The present study analyzed the optimal timing of PDT, the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing PDT, and the safety of HCWs performing PDT. METHODS: Of the 133 COVID-19 patients who underwent PDT in our ICU from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, 13 patients were excluded, and 120 patients were enrolled. A trained medical team was dedicated to the PDT procedure. Demographic, clinical history, and outcome data were collected. Patients who underwent PDT were stratified into two groups: an early group (PDT ≤ 12 days after orotracheal intubation (OTI) and a late group (>12 days after OTI). An HCW surveillance program was also performed. RESULTS: The early group included 61 patients and the late group included 59 patients. The early group patients had a shorter ICU length of stay and fewer days of mechanical ventilation than the late group (p < 0.001). On day 7 after tracheostomy, early group patients required fewer intravenous anesthetic drugs and experienced an improvement of the ventilation parameters PaO2/FiO2 ratio, PEEP, and FiO2 (p < 0.001). No difference in the case fatality ratio between the two groups was observed. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in the HCWs performing the PDTs. CONCLUSIONS: PDT was safe and effective for COVID-19 patients since it improved respiratory support parameters, reduced ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, and optimized the weaning process. The procedure was safe for all HCWs involved in the dedicated medical team. The development of standardized early PDT protocols should be implemented, and PDT could be considered a first-line approach in ICU COVID-19 patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation.

14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11334, 2021 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249212

ABSTRACT

Prophylactic low molecular weight heparin (pLMWH) is currently recommended in COVID-19 to reduce the risk of coagulopathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the antinflammatory effects of pLMWH could translate in lower rate of clinical progression in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Patients admitted to a COVID-hospital in Rome with SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild/moderate pneumonia were retrospectively evaluated. The primary endpoint was the time from hospital admission to orotracheal intubation/death (OTI/death). A total of 449 patients were included: 39% female, median age 63 (IQR, 50-77) years. The estimated probability of OTI/death for patients receiving pLMWH was: 9.5% (95% CI 3.2-26.4) by day 20 in those not receiving pLMWH vs. 10.4% (6.7-15.9) in those exposed to pLMWH; p-value = 0.144. This risk associated with the use of pLMWH appeared to vary by PaO2/FiO2 ratio: aHR 1.40 (95% CI 0.51-3.79) for patients with an admission PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 300 mmHg and 0.27 (0.03-2.18) for those with PaO2/FiO2 > 300 mmHg; p-value at interaction test 0.16. pLMWH does not seem to reduce the risk of OTI/death mild/moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, especially when respiratory function had already significantly deteriorated. Data from clinical trials comparing the effect of prophylactic vs. therapeutic dosage of LMWH at various stages of COVID-19 disease are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Intubation, Intratracheal/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Rome , Severity of Illness Index
15.
Artif Intell Med ; 118: 102114, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240193

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 pathogen has been a catastrophic pandemic outbreak all over the world, with exponential increasing of confirmed cases and, unfortunately, deaths. In this work we propose an AI-powered pipeline, based on the deep-learning paradigm, for automated COVID-19 detection and lesion categorization from CT scans. We first propose a new segmentation module aimed at automatically identifying lung parenchyma and lobes. Next, we combine the segmentation network with classification networks for COVID-19 identification and lesion categorization. We compare the model's classification results with those obtained by three expert radiologists on a dataset of 166 CT scans. Results showed a sensitivity of 90.3% and a specificity of 93.5% for COVID-19 detection, at least on par with those yielded by the expert radiologists, and an average lesion categorization accuracy of about 84%. Moreover, a significant role is played by prior lung and lobe segmentation, that allowed us to enhance classification performance by over 6 percent points. The interpretation of the trained AI models reveals that the most significant areas for supporting the decision on COVID-19 identification are consistent with the lesions clinically associated to the virus, i.e., crazy paving, consolidation and ground glass. This means that the artificial models are able to discriminate a positive patient from a negative one (both controls and patients with interstitial pneumonia tested negative to COVID) by evaluating the presence of those lesions into CT scans. Finally, the AI models are integrated into a user-friendly GUI to support AI explainability for radiologists, which is publicly available at http://perceivelab.com/covid-ai. The whole AI system is unique since, to the best of our knowledge, it is the first AI-based software, publicly available, that attempts to explain to radiologists what information is used by AI methods for making decisions and that proactively involves them in the decision loop to further improve the COVID-19 understanding.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Artificial Intelligence , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
17.
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 532-539, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116859

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Limited data are available about the predictors and outcomes associated with prolonged SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding (VS). METHODS: A retrospective study including COVID-19 patients admitted to an Italian hospital between March 1 and July 1, 2020. Predictors of viral clearance (VC) and prolonged VS from the upper respiratory tract were assessed by Poisson regression and logistic regression analyses. The causal relation between VS and clinical outcomes was evaluated through an inverse probability weighted Cox model. RESULTS: The study included 536 subjects. The median duration of VS from symptoms onset was 18 days. The estimated 30-day probability of VC was 70.2%. Patients with comorbidities, lymphopenia at hospital admission, or moderate/severe respiratory disease had a lower chance of VC. The development of moderate/severe respiratory failure, delayed hospital admission after symptoms onset, baseline comorbidities, or D-dimer >1000ng/mL at admission independently predicted prolonged VS. The achievement of VC doubled the chance of clinical recovery and reduced the probability of death/mechanical ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: Respiratory disease severity, comorbidities, delayed hospital admission and inflammatory markers negatively predicted VC, which resulted to be associated with better clinical outcomes. These findings highlight the importance of prompt hospitalization of symptomatic patients, especially where signs of severity or comorbidities are present.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
18.
Life (Basel) ; 11(1)2020 Dec 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000307

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data in the literature report that a number of studies have attempted to identify the exact location of the cortical olfaction representation, searching for evidence suggesting that sniffing odors can initiate a primary activation of the piriform cortex and the insula. Nowadays, due to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) outbreak, the functional study of the olfactory system could offer a better understanding of the physiopathology of olfactory perception, elucidating better the possible site(s) of damage induced by the COVID-19 infection. The aim of this paper was to evaluate brain maps generated from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data, collected from healthy individuals in response to the same olfactory stimulus. METHODS: A total of 45 healthy volunteers, without history and/or no clinical signs of sinonasal disease and without history and/or presence of olfactory dysfunction underwent fMRI assessment. Subjects were presented with the same odorous stimuli at specific intervals. fMRI generated brain maps were used in the identification of different cortical areas, involved in the stimuli perception. RESULTS: The fMRI brain maps showed that odorous stimuli activate primarily the left anterior insula (in 35/45 cases or 77.8%). Other activated areas include: the low temporal gyri, the middle and superior temporal gyri, the frontal and piriform cortex, the anterior cingulate gyrus, the parahippocampal gyrus, the temporopolar area, the para-insular area, the subcentral area, the supramarginal gyrus, the occipital cortex and the cerebellum. CONCLUSIONS: fMRI resulted as a safe and reliable means to study the perception of olfaction in the cortex. The data of this study suggest that the anterior insula is the main stimulated area when olfactory stimuli are present. This area is always activated, despite the hand and nostril dominance.

19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 93: 192-197, 2020 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2446

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Several recent case reports have described common early chest imaging findings of lung pathology caused by 2019 novel Coronavirus (SARS-COV2) which appear to be similar to those seen previously in SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infected patients. OBJECTIVE: We present some remarkable imaging findings of the first two patients identified in Italy with COVID-19 infection travelling from Wuhan, China. The follow-up with chest X-Rays and CT scans was also included, showing a progressive adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). RESULTS: Moderate to severe progression of the lung infiltrates, with increasing percentage of high-density infiltrates sustained by a bilateral and multi-segmental extension of lung opacities, were seen. During the follow-up, apart from pleural effusions, a tubular and enlarged appearance of pulmonary vessels with a sudden caliber reduction was seen, mainly found in the dichotomic tracts, where the center of a new insurgent pulmonary lesion was seen. It could be an early alert radiological sign to predict initial lung deterioration. Another uncommon element was the presence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy with short-axis oval nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Although only two patients have been studied, these findings are consistent with the radiological pattern described in literature. Finally, the pulmonary vessels enlargement in areas where new lung infiltrates develop in the follow-up CT scan, could describe an early predictor radiological sign of lung impairment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Adult , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , China , Disease Progression , Humans , Italy , Lung/pathology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Pandemics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2
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