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1.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(9): ofac454, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051512

ABSTRACT

Background: This study's primary aim was to evaluate the impact of thrombotic complications on the development of secondary infections. The secondary aim was to compare the etiology of secondary infections in patients with and without thrombotic complications. Methods: This was a cohort study (NCT04318366) of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients hospitalized at IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital between February 25 and June 30, 2020. Incidence rates (IRs) were calculated by univariable Poisson regression as the number of cases per 1000 person-days of follow-up (PDFU) with 95% confidence intervals. The cumulative incidence functions of secondary infections according to thrombotic complications were compared with Gray's method accounting for competing risk of death. A multivariable Fine-Gray model was applied to assess factors associated with risk of secondary infections. Results: Overall, 109/904 patients had 176 secondary infections (IR, 10.0; 95% CI, 8.8-11.5; per 1000-PDFU). The IRs of secondary infections among patients with or without thrombotic complications were 15.0 (95% CI, 10.7-21.0) and 9.3 (95% CI, 7.9-11.0) per 1000-PDFU, respectively (P = .017). At multivariable analysis, thrombotic complications were associated with the development of secondary infections (subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.788; 95% CI, 1.018-3.140; P = .043). The etiology of secondary infections was similar in patients with and without thrombotic complications. Conclusions: In patients with COVID-19, thrombotic complications were associated with a high risk of secondary infections.

2.
Pathogens ; 11(9)2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010226

ABSTRACT

Anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may trigger immune-mediated adverse events, including myocarditis. Evidence of vaccine safety in patients with rheumatic disorders and underlying autoimmune myocarditis is scarce. To address this issue, we studied 13 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and allied conditions with a history of myocarditis and receiving mRNA-based vaccines. Data about general and cardiac laboratory tests, treatment, and disease status were collected during routine consultations before and after the primary vaccination course and after each vaccine dose administration, while myocarditis symptoms were closely monitored. A significant increase in troponin levels from baseline was found after 13 (6-20) days from the first (p = 0.046) and 17 (4-29) days after the second dose (p = 0.013). Troponin levels progressively decreased within 3 (1-6) months in the absence of typical symptoms or signs of myocarditis. A significant increase in the constitutional domain of the British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) index (p = 0.046) was observed in SLE patients. However, no patient needed any treatment change. mRNA-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines can apparently be safely administered to patients with SLE and lupus-like disorders with previous myocarditis despite potential subclinical and transient rises in cardiac damage markers.

3.
Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis ; 14: 1759720X221116408, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009255

ABSTRACT

Background: The results of randomized controlled (RCT) and retrospective studies have expanded the armamentarium of drugs for systemic sclerosis (SSc) - interstitial lung disease (ILD) treatment. The correct positioning of these drugs is not yet clarified. Objectives: Systemic literature review (SLR) on rituximab (RTX), tocilizumab (TCZ), nintedanib and abatacept (ABT) for the treatment of SSc-ILD. The results of the SLR were used to create a dedicated survey. Design: The study was performed as a systematic review. Data sources and methods: the SLR was performed using the following terms: "(systemic sclerosis OR scleroderma) AND (interstitial lung disease OR lung fibrosis OR pulmonary fibrosis) AND (rituximab OR tocilizumab OR abatacept OR nintedanib)". The results of the SLR were integrated in a survey including 8 domains. These were sent to all EUSTAR members and to the participants of the 2020 Scleroderma World Congress. Results: 41 studies (34 on RTX, 5 on TCZ, 2 on ABT, and 1 on nintedanib) were identified. RCTs supported the use of TCZ and nintedanib, while retrospective studies supported the use of RTX for SSc-ILD. No clear data were obtained about ABT. The survey showed that RTX is the most available option (96%) whereas the most frequent reason for targeted therapy introduction is lung progression while on csDMARDs (86% RTX, 59% TCZ and 63% nintedanib). Combination therapy was the most frequently mentioned therapeutic scheme for nintedanib (75%) and RTX (63%). Physicians' perception of safety was similar for all drugs, while drug efficacy was the same for RTX and nintedanib, followed by TCZ (4.8 ± 2). The most frequently raised concerns pertained to efficacy, safety and combination regimens. Conclusion: Our SLR supports the use of RTX, TCZ and nintedanib for SSc-ILD patients and underlines the need for more data about upfront combination versus monotherapy. It also highlighted the need to identify predictors supporting drug choice according to both pulmonary and extra-pulmonary manifestations.

5.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 15: 815-824, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896596

ABSTRACT

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare connective tissue disease characterised by immune dysfunction, vascular damage and fibrosis affecting the skin and multiple internal organs. The clinical spectrum of SSc is wide and its manifestations may lead to severe morbidity and mortality, in addition to a great impact on patients' quality of life. Due to the multifaceted clinical manifestations of SSc, its management requires a combined expertise of different medical specialists to guarantee an adequate disease control and prevent organ complications. Multi-disciplinary teams (MDT), which are composed by physicians and other specialized health professionals, represent therefore a key element for the comprehensive management of SSc patients. Moreover, MTD can improve communication and patients' empowerment while the presence of dedicated nurses can help patients to ask questions about their condition. The scope of this narrative review is to analyse the available evidences regarding the role of MDT in the management of SSc patients, and how this holistic approach may improve different disease domains and the overall prognosis. MDT regarding the cardiovascular and lung complication are the more represented in literature, given the great impact in prognosis. Nonetheless, MDT have been shown to be fundamental also in other disease domains as they can intercept early manifestations, thus stratifying patients based on the individual risks in order to personalize patients' follow-up. MDTs may also minimize the treatment delay, enabling fast-track specialist referral. On the other hand, there are few trials specifically studying MDT in SSc and several authors have highlight the lack of standardization.

8.
Ann Intensive Care ; 11(1): 152, 2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496221

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: COVID-19 is characterized by dysregulated immune response, respiratory failure and a relevant mortality rate among hospitalized patients. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in COVID-19-associated cytokine storm, and several trials investigated whether its inhibition could improve patients' outcome. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized trials (RCT) to test this hypothesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two independent investigators searched PubMed, Scopus, ClnicalTrials.gov and medRxiv up to September 1st, 2021. Inclusion criteria were: administration of tocilizumab or sarilumab; COVID-19 adult patients with pneumonia; and being a RCT. Primary outcome was mortality at the longest follow-up. Secondary outcomes included intubation rate and incidence of adverse events. Two independent investigators extracted data from eligible trials. RESULTS: Of the 763 studies assessed, 15 RCTs were included (9,320 patients), all were multicentre, and the majority open-label vs standard treatment. IL-6 inhibitors were associated with reduced all-cause mortality at the longest follow-up (1315/5,380 [24.4%] in the IL-6 inhibitors group versus 1080/3,814 [28.3%] in the control group, RR = 0.90; 95% CI 0.84 to 0.96; p for effect = 0.003, I2 = 0%, with 13 studies included), with reduction in 28/30-day mortality and intubation rates, and with no increase in adverse events and secondary infections. CONCLUSION: IL-6 inhibitors reduced longest follow-up mortality and intubation in COVID-19 patients. Findings need to be confirmed in high-quality RCTs.

10.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 61(4): 1600-1609, 2022 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328934

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the main CT features that may help in distinguishing a progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD) secondary to SSc from COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: This multicentric study included 22 international readers grouped into a radiologist group (RADs) and a non-radiologist group (nRADs). A total of 99 patients, 52 with COVID-19 and 47 with SSc-ILD, were included in the study. RESULTS: Fibrosis inside focal ground-glass opacities (GGOs) in the upper lobes; fibrosis in the lower lobe GGOs; reticulations in lower lobes (especially if bilateral and symmetrical or associated with signs of fibrosis) were the CT features most frequently associated with SSc-ILD. The CT features most frequently associated with COVID- 19 pneumonia were: consolidation (CONS) in the lower lobes, CONS with peripheral (both central/peripheral or patchy distributions), anterior and posterior CONS and rounded-shaped GGOs in the lower lobes. After multivariate analysis, the presence of CONs in the lower lobes (P < 0.0001) and signs of fibrosis in GGOs in the lower lobes (P < 0.0001) remained independently associated with COVID-19 pneumonia and SSc-ILD, respectively. A predictive score was created that was positively associated with COVID-19 diagnosis (96.1% sensitivity and 83.3% specificity). CONCLUSION: CT diagnosis differentiating between COVID-19 pneumonia and SSc-ILD is possible through a combination of the proposed score and radiologic expertise. The presence of consolidation in the lower lobes may suggest COVID-19 pneumonia, while the presence of fibrosis inside GGOs may indicate SSc-ILD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Diseases, Interstitial , Scleroderma, Systemic , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 Testing , Fibrosis , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/complications , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/etiology , Scleroderma, Systemic/complications , Scleroderma, Systemic/diagnostic imaging , Scleroderma, Systemic/pathology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
12.
Minerva Anestesiol ; 87(8): 891-902, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is associated with elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. We present the characteristics and outcomes of patients treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with immunosuppressive drugs, either tocilizumab or anakinra compared with controls. METHODS: A single-center observational prospective study on ICU invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients. The primary outcome was the clinical improvement at day 28. A Bayesian framework was employed, and all analyses were adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: Sixty-one consecutive invasively ventilated patients were included, nine (14.7%) received tocilizumab and 15 (24.6%) received anakinra. Over the first seven days, tocilizumab was associated with a greater decrease in C-reactive protein (P<0.001). After adjusting for confounders, the probability of clinical improvement at day 28 compared to control was 7∙6% (OR=0.36 [95% CrI: 0.09-1.46]) for tocilizumab and 40.9% (OR=0.89 [95% CrI: 0.32-2.43]) for anakinra. At day 28, the probability of being in a better clinical category was 2.5% (OR=2.98 [95% CrI: 1.00-8.88]) for tocilizumab, and 49.5% (OR=1.00 [95% CrI: 0.42-2.42]) for anakinra. CONCLUSIONS: In invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients, treatment with anakinra was associated with a higher probability of clinical improvement compared to tocilizumab; however, treatment with either drug did not result in clinically meaningful improvements compared with controls.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Bayes Theorem , Humans , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 675678, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Restraining maladaptive inflammation is considered a rationale strategy to treat severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) but available studies with selective inhibitors of pro-inflammatory cytokines have not provided unequivocal evidence of survival advantage. Late administration is commonly regarded as a major cause of treatment failure but the optimal timing for anti-cytokine therapy initiation in COVID-19 patients has never been clearly established. OBJECTIVES: To identify a window of therapeutic opportunity for maximizing the efficacy of interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 blockade in COVID-19. METHODS: Survival at the longest available follow-up was assessed in severe hyper-inflamed COVID-19 patients treated with anakinra, tocilizumab, sarilumab, or standard of care, stratified according to respiratory impairment at the time of treatment initiation. RESULTS: 107 patients treated with biologics and 103 contemporary patients treated with standard of care were studied. After a median of 106 days of follow-up (range 3-186), treatment with biologics was associated with a significantly higher survival rate compared to standard therapy when initiated in patients with a PaO2/FiO2 ≥ 100 mmHg (p < 0.001). Anakinra reduced mortality also in patients with PaO2/FiO2 < 100 mmHg (p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: IL-1 and IL-6 blocking therapies are more likely to provide survival advantage in hyper-inflamed COVID-19 patients when initiated before the establishment of severe respiratory failure.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/administration & dosage , Interleukin-1/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Disease-Free Survival , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Interleukin-1/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Rate
15.
Lancet Rheumatol ; 3(4): e253-e261, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with severe COVID-19 develop a life-threatening hyperinflammatory response to the virus. Interleukin (IL)-1 or IL-6 inhibitors have been used to treat this patient population, but the comparative effectiveness of these different strategies remains undetermined. We aimed to compare IL-1 and IL-6 inhibition in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, respiratory insufficiency, and hyperinflammation. METHODS: This cohort study included patients admitted to San Raffaele Hospital (Milan, Italy) with COVID-19, respiratory insufficiency, defined as a ratio of the partial pressure of oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen of 300 mm Hg or less, and hyperinflammation, defined as serum C-reactive protein concentration of 100 mg/L or more or ferritin concentration of 900 ng/mL or more. The primary endpoint was survival, and the secondary endpoint was a composite of death or mechanical ventilation (adverse clinical outcome). Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to compare clinical outcomes of patients receiving IL-1 inhibition (anakinra) or IL-6 inhibition (tocilizumab or sarilumab) with those of patients who did not receive interleukin inhibitors, after accounting for baseline differences. All patients received standard care. Interaction tests were used to assess the probability of survival according to C-reactive protein or lactate dehydrogenase concentrations. FINDINGS: Of 392 patients included between Feb 25 and May 20, 2020, 275 did not receive interleukin inhibitors, 62 received the IL-1 inhibitor anakinra, and 55 received an IL-6 inhibitor (29 received tocilizumab and 26 received sarilumab). In the multivariable analysis, compared with patients who did not receive interleukin inhibitors, patients treated with IL-1 inhibition had a significantly reduced mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR] 0·450, 95% CI 0·204-0·990, p=0·047), but those treated with IL-6 inhibition did not (0·900, 0·412-1·966; p=0·79). In the multivariable analysis, there was no difference in adverse clinical outcome risk in patients treated with IL-1 inhibition (HR 0·866, 95% CI 0·482-1·553; p=0·63) or IL-6 inhibition (0·882, 0·452-1·722; p=0·71) relative to patients who did not receive interleukin inhibitors. For increasing C-reactive protein concentrations, patients treated with IL-6 inhibition had a significantly reduced risk of mortality (HR 0·990, 95% CI 0·981-0·999; p=0·031) and adverse clinical outcome (0·987, 0·979-0·995; p=0·0021) compared with patients who did not receive interleukin inhibitors. For decreasing concentrations of serum lactate dehydrogenase, patients treated with an IL-1 inhibitor and patients treated with IL-6 inhibitors had a reduced risk of mortality; increasing concentrations of lactate dehydrogenase in patients receiving either interleukin inhibitor were associated with an increased risk of mortality (HR 1·009, 95% CI 1·003-1·014, p=0·0011 for IL-1 inhibitors and 1·006, 1·001-1·011, p=0·028 for IL-6 inhibitors) and adverse clinical outcome (1·006, 1·002-1·010, p=0·0031 for IL-1 inhibitors and 1·005, 1·001-1·010, p=0·016 for IL-6 inhibitors) compared with patients who did not receive interleukin inhibitors. INTERPRETATION: IL-1 inhibition, but not IL-6 inhibition, was associated with a significant reduction of mortality in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, respiratory insufficiency, and hyperinflammation. IL-6 inhibition was effective in a subgroup of patients with markedly high C-reactive protein concentrations, whereas both IL-1 and IL-6 inhibition were effective in patients with low lactate dehydrogenase concentrations. FUNDING: None.

16.
J Clin Med ; 10(9)2021 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224042

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocarditis lacks systematic characterization in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We enrolled consecutive patients with newly diagnosed myocarditis in the context of COVID-19 infection. Diagnostic and treatment strategies were driven by a dedicated multidisciplinary disease unit for myocarditis. Multimodal outcomes were assessed during prospective follow-up. RESULTS: Seven consecutive patients (57% males, age 51 ± 9 y) with acute COVID-19 infection received a de novo diagnosis of myocarditis. Endomyocardial biopsy was of choice in hemodynamically unstable patients (n = 4, mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 25 ± 9%), whereas cardiac magnetic resonance constituted the first exam in stable patients (n = 3, mean LVEF 48 ± 10%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis revealed an intra-myocardial SARS-CoV-2 genome in one of the six cases undergoing biopsy: in the remaining patients, myocarditis was either due to other viruses (n = 2) or virus-negative (n = 3). Hemodynamic support was needed for four unstable patients (57%), whereas a cardiac device implant was chosen in two of four cases showing ventricular arrhythmias. Medical treatment included immunosuppression (43%) and biological therapy (29%). By the 6-month median follow-up, no patient died or experienced malignant arrhythmias. However, two cases (29%) were screened for heart transplantation. CONCLUSIONS: Myocarditis associated with acute COVID-19 infection is a spectrum of clinical manifestations and underlying etiologies. A multidisciplinary approach is the cornerstone for tailored management.

20.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 598308, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028187

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a condition caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Severe cases of COVID-19 result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. A detrimental, hyper-inflammatory immune response with excess release of cytokines is the main driver of disease development and of tissue damage in these patients. Thus, repurposing of biologic agents and other pharmacological inhibitors of cytokines used for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions emerged as a logical therapeutic strategy to quench inflammation and improve the clinical outcome of COVID-19 patients. Evaluated agents include the interleukin one receptor blocker anakinra, monoclonal antibodies inhibiting IL-6 tocilizumab and sarilumab, monoclonal antibodies inhibiting granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor and tumor necrosis factor, and Janus kinase inhibitors. In this review, we discuss the efficacy and safety of these therapeutic options based on direct personal experience and on published evidence from observational studies and randomized clinical trials.

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