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1.
European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences ; 25(24):7997-8003, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1589477

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) showed similar characteristics with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In the most compromised cases, COVID-19 infection leads to death due to severe respiratory complications. COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the primary cause of death in these patients. In the present study, we show an ultrastructural analysis on the lungs of a patient affected by COVID-19. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Lung specimens obtained at autopsy from a 63-years old patient affected by COVID-19 were fixed in 1% paraformaldehyde. Slices of 300 mu m thickness were dehydrated and dried by Critical Point Drying in CO2. Slices were covered with a conductive gold film approximately 30 nm thick and observed at a Zeiss Sigma 300 SEM FEG in the secondary electron (SE) and backscattered electron (BSE) modes. As case control a lung biopsy from a 60-year-old man was considered. RESULTS: At low power in all COVID-19 lung specimens severe changes in the pulmonary architecture were found, due to the collapse of air spaces. Moreover, alveolar cavities were covered by large membranes. At high power, alveolar membranes showed a fibrillar structure, suggestive of a loose network of fibrin. It has been also found that intra-alveolar red blood cells were frequently present in the alveolar spaces, surrounded by a reticular fibrin network, suggestive for fibrin-hemorrhagic alveolitis. Alveolar changes were constantly associated with pathological features related to the pulmonary vessels. Vascular changes were prominent, including endothelial damage and thrombosis of large pulmonary vessels. Fibrinous microthrombi were frequently detected in the inter-alveolar septal capillaries. In addition, it has been frequently detected capillary proliferation in the alveolar septa with finding suggestive for intussusceptive neo-angiogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our electron microscopy analysis showed that COVID-19-related lung disease is characterized by a substantial architectural distortion, with the interactions between alveolar and vascular changes. Intra-alveolar hyaline membranes are associated with macro-and micro-thrombotic angiopathy, ending with capillary proliferation. The new blood vessel formation originates from the septa and extends into the surrounding parenchyma. Our findings confirm previous reports on the specificity of the multiple and complex morphological pattern typical, and apparently specific, of COVID-19-related lung disease.

2.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(19): 5904-5912, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478932

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Liver injury has been reported in patients with COVID-19. This condition is characterized by severe outcome and could be related with the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to activate cytotoxic T cells. The purpose of this study is to show the histological and scanning electron microscopy features of liver involvement in COVID-19 to characterize the liver changes caused by the activation of multiple molecular pathways following this infection. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Liver biopsies from 4 patients (3 post-mortems and 1 in vivo) with COVID-19 were analyzed with histology and by scanning electron microscopy. RESULTS: The liver changes showed significant heterogeneity. The first case showed ground glass hepatocytes and scattered fibrin aggregates in the sinusoidal lumen. The second evidenced intra-sinusoidal thrombi. The third was characterized by sinusoidal dilatation, atrophy of hepatocytes, Disse's spaces dilatation and intra-sinusoidal aggregates of fibrin and red blood cells. The fourth case exhibited diffuse fibrin aggregates in the dilated Disse spaces and microthrombi in the sinusoidal lumen. CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19-related liver injury, a large spectrum of pathological changes was observed. The most peculiar features were very mild inflammation, intra-sinusoidal changes, including sinusoidal dilatation, thrombotic sinusoiditis and diffuse intra-sinusoidal fibrin deposition. These findings suggested that a thrombotic sinusoiditis followed by a local diffuse intra-vascular (intra-sinusoidal) coagulation could be the typical features of the SARS-CoV-2-related liver injury.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Liver Diseases/pathology , Liver/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology , Aged , Autopsy , Biopsy , Erythrocytes/pathology , Fibrin , Hepatocytes/pathology , Humans , Male , Microscopy, Electron, Scanning , Middle Aged , Thrombosis/complications , Young Adult
3.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(18): 5876-5884, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1451047

ABSTRACT

The risk stratification of young adults between subjects who will develop a mild form COVID-19 and subjects who will undergo a severe disease remains inaccurate. In this review, we propose that the Barker hypothesis might explain the increased susceptibility to severe forms of COVID-19 in subjects who underwent intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). In this paper evidence indicating an association between a low birth weight and an adult phenotype which might favor a severe outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection are presented: lower lung functional capacity; increased respiratory morbidity; changes in fibrinogen and Factor VII serum levels and dysregulation of the hemostasis and thrombosis system; acquisition of a pro-thrombotic phenotype; low nephron number, with decreased ability to sustain renal function and increased renal morbidity; heart remodeling, with a less efficient cardiac function; endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for the insurgence of the multiple organ failure; remodeling of arteries, with changes in the elastic properties of the arterial wall, predisposing to the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis; dysfunction of the innate immune system, a risk factor for immune diseases in adulthood. These data suggest that young and adult subjects born too small (IUGR) or too early (pre-terms) might represent a subgroup of "at risk subjects", more susceptible toward severe forms of COVID-19. Given that LBW may be considered a surrogate of IUGR, this phenotypic marker should be included among the indispensable clinical data collected in every patient presenting with SARS-COV-2 infection, irrespectively of his/her age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Susceptibility/epidemiology , Fetal Development , Disease Susceptibility/virology , Fetal Growth Retardation , Humans , Infant, Low Birth Weight , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(15): 5063-5069, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346861

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a new syndrome occurring primarily in healthy young adults, with a female predominance, after receiving the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. We describe VITT syndrome characterized by severe thrombosis and thrombocytopenia found in our patient, with fatal outcome. CASE REPORT: A 58-year-old man, after 13 days from the first administration of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca), presented with abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomitus. Laboratory tests revealed a severe thrombocytopenia, low fibrinogen serum levels and marked increase of D-dimer serum levels. The patient quickly developed a multiple organ failure, till death, three days after the hospital admission. RESULTS: At histology, in the lungs, interalveolar septa appeared thickened with microthrombi in the capillaries and veins. Interalveolar septa appeared thickened and showed vascular proliferation. Thrombi were detected in the capillaries of glomerular tufts. In the hearth, thrombi were observed in veins and capillaries. In the liver, voluminous fibrin thrombi were diffusely observed in the branches of the portal vein. Microthrombi were also found in the vasa vasorum of the wall of abdominal aorta. In the brain, microthrombi were observed in the capillaries of the choroid plexuses. Diffuse hemorrhagic necrosis was observed in the intestinal wall with marked congestion of the venous vessels. CONCLUSIONS: In our patient, the majority of data necessary for a VITT final diagnosis were present: thrombocytopenia and thrombosis in pulmonary, portal, hepatic, renal and mesenteric veins, associated with a marked increase of D-dimer serum levels. The finding of cerebral thrombosis in choroid plexuses, is a new finding in VITT. These features are suggestive for a very aggressive form of VITT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Thrombosis/etiology , Aorta/pathology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Choroid Plexus/pathology , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Humans , Ileum/pathology , Kidney/pathology , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/pathology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Thrombosis/blood
5.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(13): 4639-4643, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319966

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by quantitative and qualitative changes in surfactant composition, leading to surfactant dysregulation with alveolar collapse and acute respiratory hypoxic failure. Recently, surfactant has been hypothesized to play a relevant role in COVID-19, representing a strong defender against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The aim of our work was the study of immunohistochemical surfactant expression in the lungs of patients died following SARS-CoV-2 ARDS, in order to shed light on a possible therapeutic surfactant administration. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We investigated four patients who died due to ARDS following SARS-COV-2 infection and four patients submitted to lung biopsy, in the absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In all 8 cases, lung specimens were immunostained with anti-surfactant protein A (SP-A) and B (SP-B). RESULTS: In control subjects, reactivity for SP-B was restricted to type II alveolar cells. Immunostaining for SP-A was observed on the surface of alveolar spaces. In the COVID-19 positive lungs, immunoreactivity for SP-B was similar to that observed in control lungs; SP-A was strongly expressed along the alveolar wall. Moreover, dense aggregates of SP-A positive material were observed in the alveolar spaces. CONCLUSIONS: Our immunohistochemical data show the dysregulation of surfactant production in COVID-19 patients, particularly regarding SP-A expression. The increased presence of SP-A in condensed masses inside alveolar spaces could invalidate the therapeutic efficacy of the treatment with exogenous surfactant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Immunohistochemistry , Protein Precursors/analysis , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A/analysis , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Protein Precursors/genetics , Protein Precursors/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A/genetics , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein A/metabolism , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins/genetics , Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
6.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(10): 3772-3790, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264762

ABSTRACT

Multiple epidemiological studies have suggested that industrialization and progressive urbanization should be considered one of the main factors responsible for the rising of atherosclerosis in the developing world. In this scenario, the role of trace metals in the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis has not been clarified yet. In this paper, the specific role of selected trace elements (magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and calcium) is described by focusing on the atherosclerotic prevention and pathogenesis plaque. For each element, the following data are reported: daily intake, serum levels, intra/extracellular distribution, major roles in physiology, main effects of high and low levels, specific roles in atherosclerosis, possible interactions with other trace elements, and possible influences on plaque development. For each trace element, the correlations between its levels and clinical severity and outcome of COVID-19 are discussed. Moreover, the role of matrix metalloproteinases, a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, as a new medical therapeutical approach to atherosclerosis is discussed. Data suggest that trace element status may influence both atherosclerosis insurgence and plaque evolution toward a stable or an unstable status. However, significant variability in the action of these traces is evident: some - including magnesium, zinc, and selenium - may have a protective role, whereas others, including iron and copper, probably have a multi-faceted and more complex role in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic plaque. Finally, calcium and phosphorus are implicated in the calcification of atherosclerotic plaques and in the progression of the plaque toward rupture and severe clinical complications. In particular, the role of calcium is debated. Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemia, optimized magnesium and zinc levels are indicated as important protective tools against a severe clinical course of the disease, often related to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause a systemic inflammatory response, able to transform a stable plaque into an unstable one, with severe clinical complications.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Trace Elements/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Calcium/blood , Calcium/metabolism , Copper/blood , Copper/metabolism , Humans , Iron/blood , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/blood , Magnesium/metabolism , Matrix Metalloproteinases/metabolism , Phosphorus/blood , Phosphorus/metabolism , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Selenium/blood , Selenium/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Trace Elements/blood , Zinc/blood , Zinc/metabolism
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