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1.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(11)2021 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523902

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 continues to represent a worrying pandemic. Despite the high percentage of non-severe illness, a wide clinical variability is often reported in real-world practice. Accurate predictors of disease aggressiveness, however, are still lacking. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the impact of quantitative analysis of lung computed tomography (CT) on non-intensive care unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients' prognostication; (2) Methods: Our historical prospective study included fifty-five COVID-19 patients consecutively submitted to unenhanced lung CT. Primary outcomes were recorded during hospitalization, including composite ICU admission for the need of mechanical ventilation and/or death occurrence. CT examinations were retrospectively evaluated to automatically calculate differently aerated lung tissues (i.e., overinflated, well-aerated, poorly aerated, and non-aerated tissue). Scores based on the percentage of lung weight and volume were also calculated; (3) Results: Patients who reported disease progression showed lower total lung volume. Inflammatory indices correlated with indices of respiratory failure and high-density areas. Moreover, non-aerated and poorly aerated lung tissue resulted significantly higher in patients with disease progression. Notably, non-aerated lung tissue was independently associated with disease progression (HR: 1.02; p-value: 0.046). When different predictive models including clinical, laboratoristic, and CT findings were analyzed, the best predictive validity was reached by the model that included non-aerated tissue (C-index: 0.97; p-value: 0.0001); (4) Conclusions: Quantitative lung CT offers wide advantages in COVID-19 disease stratification. Non-aerated lung tissue is more likely to occur with severe inflammation status, turning out to be a strong predictor for disease aggressiveness; therefore, it should be included in the predictive model of COVID-19 patients.

2.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(41): e27418, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501202

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative effect on health care systems over the last year. Health care providers were forced to focus mainly on COVID-19 patients, neglecting in many cases equally important diseases, both acute and chronic. Therefore, also screening and diagnostic strategies for HIV could have been significantly impaired.This retrospective, multicenter, observational study aimed at assessing the number and characteristics of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and compared characteristics of people living with HIV at diagnosis between pre- and post-COVID-19 era (2019 vs 2020).Our results showed a significant reduction of HIV diagnoses during pandemic. By contrast, people living with HIV during pandemic were older and were diagnosed in earlier stage of disease (considering CD4+ T cell count) compared to those who were diagnosed the year before. Moreover, there was a significant decrease of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, probably for the impact of social distancing and restriction applied by the Italian Government. Late presentation incidence, if numbers in 2020 were lower than those in 2019, is still an issue.Routinely performing HIV testing in patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection is identifying and linking to care underdiagnosed people living with HIV earlier. Thus, combined tests (HIV and SARS-CoV-2) should be implemented in patients with SARS-CoV-2 symptoms overlapping HIV's ones. Lastly, our results lastly showed how urgent implementation of a national policy for HIV screening is necessary.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Adult , CD4 Lymphocyte Count/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Int J Med Inform ; 156: 104616, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466391

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed outpatient clinical practice, which has led to the need defining digital healthcare modalities to provide telehealth services. The aim of our study was to explore opinions about HIV management via telehealth in a representative, southern central Italian cohort of individuals with HIV (PLWH) and doctors involved in the treatment process. METHODS: We enrolled 80 PLWH who have never used telehealth tools and 60 doctors, who administered an anonymous self-report questionnaire to investigate their opinions about telehealth service use. RESULTS: Most of the doctors and patients indicated that they would use telehealth services; however, 88.3% of the doctors and 40% of the PLWH did not want to substitute personal visits with telehealth services. Unlike PLWH, physicians seemed to agree with most of the possible risks of telehealth, such as patients' isolation from the hospital system (71.7%), interaction difficulty (46.7%) and lower quality of patient assessment (63.3%). The doctors focused on the qualitative aspects of telehealth services reducing patients' exposure to stigma (61.7%), improving quality of patient care (41.7%), and improving privacy (58.3%). By contrast, patients focused on the quantitative aspects of telehealth services improving timely access to care (44%), time saving (63%) and improving interaction with doctor (43%). CONCLUSIONS: Both PLWH (especially older patients and those with longer experience of disease management) and doctors welcome the use of telehealth services but disagree using it to substitute medical consultation in person focusing on different possible benefits and risks of telehealth depending on the needs expressed. Thus, our results suggest the need to initiate and expand communication about telehealth between doctors and patients.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Patient Preference , Physicians , Telemedicine , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/therapy , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians'
7.
J Healthc Eng ; 2021: 5556207, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314165

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection is harshly debated, with observational and experimental studies reporting contrasting results. To clarify the role of HCQ in Covid-19 patients, we carried out a retrospective observational study of 4,396 unselected patients hospitalized for Covid-19 in Italy (February-May 2020). Patients' characteristics were collected at entry, including age, sex, obesity, smoking status, blood parameters, history of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary diseases, and medications in use. These were used to identify subtypes of patients with similar characteristics through hierarchical clustering based on Gower distance. Using multivariable Cox regressions, these clusters were then tested for association with mortality and modification of effect by treatment with HCQ. We identified two clusters, one of 3,913 younger patients with lower circulating inflammation levels and better renal function, and one of 483 generally older and more comorbid subjects, more prevalently men and smokers. The latter group was at increased death risk adjusted by HCQ (HR[CI95%] = 3.80[3.08-4.67]), while HCQ showed an independent inverse association (0.51[0.43-0.61]), as well as a significant influence of cluster∗HCQ interaction (p < 0.001). This was driven by a differential association of HCQ with mortality between the high (0.89[0.65-1.22]) and the low risk cluster (0.46[0.39-0.54]). These effects survived adjustments for additional medications in use and were concordant with associations with disease severity and outcome. These findings suggest a particularly beneficial effect of HCQ within low risk Covid-19 patients and may contribute to clarifying the current controversy on HCQ efficacy in Covid-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antimalarials/adverse effects , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Hydroxychloroquine/adverse effects , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cluster Analysis , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
8.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(7)2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288826

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: this study aimed to determine the proportion of people living with HIV (PLWH) with anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in a large sample from a single HIV referral center in Rome, Italy; the time-frame included both the first and the second wave of the Italian COVID-19 pandemic; Methods: we conducted a cross-sectional study on stored cryopreserved samples from 1 March 2020 to 30 November 2020. Total antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were preliminarily tested using a chemiluminescent immunoassay. Positive results were re-tested with an ELISA assay as an IgG confirmatory test; Results: overall, 1389 samples were analyzed from 1106 PLWH: 69% males, median age 53 years, 94% on antiretroviral treatment, 93% with HIV-RNA < 50 copies/mL, median CD4 cell count 610 cell/µL. Our analysis revealed a total of n = 8 patients who tested IgG positive during the study period. Seroprevalence was equal to 0% in the first months (March-June); this started to increase in July and reached a maximum rate of 1.59% in October 2020. The overall seroprevalence was 0.72% (8/1106, 95% CI 0.37-1.42). CONCLUSION: our findings from this setting show a low IgG SARS-CoV-2 prevalence among PLWH as compared to data available from the general population.

9.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 639970, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285307

ABSTRACT

Background: Protease inhibitors have been considered as possible therapeutic agents for COVID-19 patients. Objectives: To describe the association between lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) or darunavir/cobicistat (DRV/c) use and in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. Study Design: Multicenter observational study of COVID-19 patients admitted in 33 Italian hospitals. Medications, preexisting conditions, clinical measures, and outcomes were extracted from medical records. Patients were retrospectively divided in three groups, according to use of LPV/r, DRV/c or none of them. Primary outcome in a time-to event analysis was death. We used Cox proportional-hazards models with inverse probability of treatment weighting by multinomial propensity scores. Results: Out of 3,451 patients, 33.3% LPV/r and 13.9% received DRV/c. Patients receiving LPV/r or DRV/c were more likely younger, men, had higher C-reactive protein levels while less likely had hypertension, cardiovascular, pulmonary or kidney disease. After adjustment for propensity scores, LPV/r use was not associated with mortality (HR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.13), whereas treatment with DRV/c was associated with a higher death risk (HR = 1.89, 1.53 to 2.34, E-value = 2.43). This increased risk was more marked in women, in elderly, in patients with higher severity of COVID-19 and in patients receiving other COVID-19 drugs. Conclusions: In a large cohort of Italian patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in a real-life setting, the use of LPV/r treatment did not change death rate, while DRV/c was associated with increased mortality. Within the limits of an observational study, these data do not support the use of LPV/r or DRV/c in COVID-19 patients.

10.
Thromb Haemost ; 121(8): 1054-1065, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112023

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A hypercoagulable condition was described in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and proposed as a possible pathogenic mechanism contributing to disease progression and lethality. AIM: We evaluated if in-hospital administration of heparin improved survival in a large cohort of Italian COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In a retrospective observational study, 2,574 unselected patients hospitalized in 30 clinical centers in Italy from February 19, 2020 to June 5, 2020 with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection were analyzed. The primary endpoint in a time-to event analysis was in-hospital death, comparing patients who received heparin (low-molecular-weight heparin [LMWH] or unfractionated heparin [UFH]) with patients who did not. We used multivariable Cox proportional-hazards regression models with inverse probability for treatment weighting by propensity scores. RESULTS: Out of 2,574 COVID-19 patients, 70.1% received heparin. LMWH was largely the most used formulation (99.5%). Death rates for patients receiving heparin or not were 7.4 and 14.0 per 1,000 person-days, respectively. After adjustment for propensity scores, we found a 40% lower risk of death in patients receiving heparin (hazard ratio = 0.60; 95% confidence interval: 0.49-0.74; E-value = 2.04). This association was particularly evident in patients with a higher severity of disease or strong coagulation activation. CONCLUSION: In-hospital heparin treatment was associated with a lower mortality, particularly in severely ill COVID-19 patients and in those with strong coagulation activation. The results from randomized clinical trials are eagerly awaited to provide clear-cut recommendations.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Heparin/therapeutic use , Thrombophilia/etiology , Thrombophilia/prevention & control , Aged , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Survival Analysis , Thrombophilia/blood
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