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1.
Pathogens ; 11(7)2022 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1928621

ABSTRACT

The vaccination campaign and the new SARS-CoV-2 variants may have changed the clinical profile and outcomes of patients admitted to sub-intensive unit care. We conducted a retrospective study aimed to compare the clinical and radiological features of unvaccinated critical COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the last pandemic wave (December 2021-February 2022, No-Vax group) and before starting the vaccination campaign (March-December 2020, Pre-Vax group). The No-Vax group was also compared with vaccinated patients of the same pandemic wave (Vax group). With respect to the Pre-Vax group, the No-Vax group contained a higher percentage of smokers (p = 0.0007) and a lower prevalence of males (p = 0.0003). At admission, the No-Vax patients showed both a higher CT score of pneumonia and a worse severe respiratory failure (p < 0.0001). In the No-Vax group, a higher percentage of deaths occurred, though this was not significant. In comparison with the No-Vax group, the Vax patients were older (p = 0.0097), with a higher Charlson comorbidity index (p < 0.0001) and a significantly lower HRCT score (p = 0.0015). The percentage of deaths was not different between the two groups. The No-Vax patients showed a more severe disease in comparison with the Pre-Vax patients, and were younger and had fewer comorbidities than the Vax patients.

2.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(6)2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The intermittent abdominal pressure ventilation (IAPV) is a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) technique that avoids facial interfaces and is a diurnal ventilatory support alternative for neuromuscular patients during stable chronic phases of the disease. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel infection possibly causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) and preexisting respiratory failure can be exacerbated by respiratory infection and progress to severe disease and ICU admission with a poor prognosis. AIM: To report on the versatility and feasibility of IAPV in acute restrictive respiratory failure exacerbated by COVID-19. PATIENT: We describe the case of a 33-year-old man with spastic tetraparesis, kyphoscoliosis, and impaired cough, eventually leading to a restrictive ventilation pattern. COVID-19 exacerbated respiratory failure and seizures. An NIV trial failed because of inadequate interface adhesion and intolerance. During NIV, dyspnea and seizures worsened. He underwent a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) with a fluctuating benefit on gas exchange. IAPV was initiated and although there was a lack of cooperation and inability to sit; the compliance was good and a progressive improvement of gas exchange, respiratory rate, and dyspnea was observed. CONCLUSIONS: IAPV is a versatile type of NIV that can be adopted in complicated restrictive respiratory failure. COVID-19 exacerbates preexisting conditions and is destined to be a disease of frailty. COVID-19 is not a contraindication to IAPV and this kind of ventilation can be employed in selected cases in a specialistic setting. Moreover, this report suggests that IAPV is safe when used in combination with HFNC. This hybrid approach provides the opportunity to benefit from both therapies, and, in this particular case, prevented the intubation with all connected risks.

3.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 809186, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708260

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous studies have demonstrated persistent dyspnoea and impairment of respiratory function in the follow-up of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia. However, no studies have evaluated the clinical and functional consequences of COVID-19 pneumonia complicated by pulmonary embolism. Objective: The aim of our study was to assess the pulmonary function and exercise capacity in COVID-19 patients 3 months after recovery from pneumonia, either complicated or not by pulmonary embolism. Methods: This was a retrospective, single-centre, observational study involving 68 adult COVID-19 patients with a positive/negative clinical history of pulmonary embolism (PE) as a complication of COVID-19 pneumonia. Three months after recovery all patients underwent spirometry, diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO), and 6 minute walk test (6MWT). In addition, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the lung was carried out and CT-pulmonary angiography was conducted only in the PE+ subgroup. Patients with a previous diagnosis of PE or chronic lung diseases were excluded from the study. Results: Of the 68 patients included in the study, 24 had previous PE (PE+) and 44 did not (PE-). In comparison with the PE- subgroup, PE+ patients displayed a FVC% predicted significantly lower (87.71 ± 15.40 vs 98.7 ± 16.7, p = 0.009) and a significantly lower DLCO% predicted (p = 0.023). In addition, a higher percentage of patients were dyspnoeic on exercise, as documented by a mMRC score ≥1 (75% vs 54.3%, p < 0.001) and displayed a SpO2 <90% during 6MWT (37.5% vs 0%, p < 0.001). HRCT features suggestive of COVID-19 pneumonia resolution phase were present in both PE+ and PE- subjects without any significant difference (p = 0.24) and abnormalities at CT pulmonary angiography were detected in 57% of the PE+ subgroup. Conclusion: At the 3 month follow-up, the patients who recovered from COVID-19 pneumonia complicated by PE showed more dyspnoea and higher impairment of pulmonary function tests compared with those without PE.

4.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 14: 2857-2861, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477661

ABSTRACT

Gastrointestinal involvement in SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) can occur and evolve fatally. Reports are emerging that SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks the pancreatic cells, causing the boost of amylase and lipase serum activity and rarely frank pancreatitis. We retrospectively assessed all the patients admitted to the respiratory sub-intensive care and evaluated pancreatitis cases and their course. In our study, we included all patients admitted to our respiratory sub-intensive care unit from 1st to 30th November. All patients had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and a CT finding of interstitial pneumonia associated with signs of respiratory failure. We observed the course and evaluated who developed acute pancreatitis according to standard definitions. In this study, etiology of acute pancreatitis was defined on the basis of risk factors (ie, biliary pancreatitis was defined in presence of common bile duct stone or sludge at CT or MR). According to the Revised Atlanta Classification, we diagnosed and classified the patients and evaluated the radiological severity according to the Balthazar index and a computed tomography severity index. We found that 19% (15 of 78 patients) met the criteria for acute pancreatitis. The mortality rate among patients with pancreatitis was 20%. Interestingly, in our population, cholelithiasis' imaging findings were found in only 7% of the patients, whereas no patient-reported alcohol consumption. Considering that alcohol and biliary stones represent the two major causes of AP in the general population, it is reasonable to hypothesize that SARS-CoV-2 could play a role in the etiology of acute pancreatitis in a subgroup of these patients.

5.
EClinicalMedicine ; 40: 101125, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408847

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We and others have previously demonstrated that the endothelium is a primary target of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and L-arginine has been shown to improve endothelial dysfunction. However, the effects of L-arginine have never been evaluated in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: This is a parallel-group, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted on patients hospitalized for severe COVID-19. Patients received 1.66 g L-arginine twice a day or placebo, administered orally. The primary efficacy endpoint was a reduction in respiratory support assessed 10 and 20 days after randomization. Secondary outcomes were the length of in-hospital stay, the time to normalization of lymphocyte number, and the time to obtain a negative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 on nasopharyngeal swab. This clinical trial had been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT04637906. FINDINGS: We present here the results of the initial interim analysis on the first 101 patients. No treatment-emergent serious adverse events were attributable to L-arginine. At 10-day evaluation, 71.1% of patients in the L-arginine arm and 44.4% in the placebo arm (p < 0.01) had the respiratory support reduced; however, a significant difference was not detected 20 days after randomization. Strikingly, patients treated with L-arginine exhibited a significantly reduced in-hospital stay vs placebo, with a median (interquartile range 25th,75th percentile) of 46 days (45,46) in the placebo group vs 25 days (21,26) in the L-arginine group (p < 0.0001); these findings were also confirmed after adjusting for potential confounders including age, duration of symptoms, comorbidities, D-dimer, as well as antiviral and anticoagulant treatments. The other secondary outcomes were not significantly different between groups. INTERPRETATION: In this interim analysis, adding oral L-arginine to standard therapy in patients with severe COVID-19 significantly decreases the length of hospitalization and reduces the respiratory support at 10 but not at 20 days after starting the treatment. FUNDING: Both placebo and L-arginine were kindly provided by Farmaceutici Damor S.p.A., Naples.

7.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(8)2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367869

ABSTRACT

Background and objective: Insertion/deletion polymorphisms of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) have been previously described in association with adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and correlated to outcome. The ACE deletion/deletion(D/D)genotype represents a marker of thrombosis in subjects apparently without predisposing factors and/or traditional thrombophilic alterations and increases the risk of venous thromboembolism in subjects in whom a thrombogenic condition occurs. Thrombosis seems to play a role very early in the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, in particular in those with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. The counterbalance between angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 activities in COVID-19 disease may play a crucial role in the thrombo-inflammatory process. We hypothesised that a genetic predisposition could condition the severity and complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and methods: We conducted a spontaneous, single centre observational study in the Sub-Intensive Care Unit of A.O.R.N. Ospedali dei Colli, Cotugno Hospital, Naples (Italy). In this study, we performed genetic screening for ACE D/D genotype and other thrombophilic mutations in 20 patients affected by ARDS related to COVID-19 pneumonia, compared to 19 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Results: All tested patients had multiple polymorphisms and, in particular, a significantly higher prevalence of ACE D/D polymorphism in severe COVID-19 patients Conclusion: We found that the majority of patients who tested positive for ACE D-D genotype and who were not associated with other risk factors for VTE showed an evolution to ARDS. This finding could have a predicting role in the selection of patients more prone to developing severe COVID-19 during clinical observation in emergency department.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Adult , Emergency Service, Hospital , Genotype , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema and pneumothorax are not rarely observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such complications can worsen gas exchange and the overall prognosis in critical patients. The aim of this study is to investigate what predisposing factors are related to pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax in SARS-CoV2-Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), what symptoms may predict a severe and potentially fatal complication and what therapeutical approach may provide a better outcome. METHODS: In this single center cohort study, we recorded data from 45 critically ill COVID-19 patients who developed one or more complicating events among pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema and pneumothorax. All patients showed ARDS and underwent non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at baseline. Patients with mild to moderate ARDS and pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax (n = 25) received High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC), while patients with severe ARDS and pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax underwent HFNC (n = 10) or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) (n = 10). RESULTS: Pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax developed in 10.5% of subjects affected by SARS-coV2-ARDS. Dyspnea affected 40% and cough affected 37% of subjects. High resolution computed tomography of the chest showed bilateral diffuse ground glass opacities (GGO) in 100% of subjects. Traction bronchiolectasis, reticulation, crazy paving and distortion were observed in 64%. Furthermore, 36% showed subcutaneous emphysema. Non-severe ARDS cases received HFNC, and 76% patients recovered from pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax over a median follow up of 5 days. Among severe ARDS cases the recovery rate of pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax was 70% with the HFNC approach, and 10% with IMV. CONCLUSION: HFNC is a safe and effective ventilatory approach for critical COVID-19 and has a positive role in associated complications such as pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax.

10.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 575402, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211842

ABSTRACT

While available in only a few countries, home therapy is a possible strategy for the treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. We want to describe our experience in the management of human alpha-1 antitrypsin using home care intravenous augmentation therapy during this emergency period caused by SARS-CoV2 infection. We assessed the safety of the home treatment and the quality of life of patients enrolled in the program.

11.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 91(3)2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167836

ABSTRACT

We present three cases of patients affected by severe SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia treated with a low molecular weight heparin for prevention or treatment of pulmonary embolism, who presented a major bleed, in particular an ileopsoas haematoma that caused severe anaemia; in one case it was fatal. In the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus infection, significantly abnormal coagulation parameters in SARS-CoV-2 infection occur very often, but complications in the opposite direction such as bleeding diathesis are very rare. In these cases, there are different levels of gravity: for one patient the major bleed required the anticoagulant therapy to be stopped until bleeding stabilized, one patient needed interventional radiology and one patient died.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders , COVID-19 , Pulmonary Embolism , Anticoagulants , Humans , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Embolism/drug therapy , Pulmonary Embolism/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Home treatment of patients affected by COVID-19 is still a matter of daily debate. During the clinical evolution of the disease, there are high risks of lung failure, which requires oxygen therapy. Here, we report our clinical experience with at-home treatment using high-flow nasal cannula in non-hospitalised patients with confirmed COVID-19. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this study, 18 patients with moderate-to-severe respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 were monitored at home daily for temperature and SpO2 measurements. Other parameters such as saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2), SpO2/FiO2 (fraction of inspired oxygen), temperature, and lung performance were monitored periodically. Depending on oxygen requirements, the patients also received either standard oxygen via a face mask or, if higher FiO2 required, high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC). RESULTS: All 18 patients had favourable outcomes and recovered from COVID-19. No death was recorded in this group. CONCLUSION: Our clinical experience proves that high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy may be considered for at-home treatment of COVID-19 patients with moderate lung failure. This could be useful for further treatment during the pandemic and may also be considered in future epidemics.

14.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 631148, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080918

ABSTRACT

Most recent studies have stressed a high risk of thromboembolism in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Counterbalance between angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 activities in COVID-19 disease may be crucially involved in the thrombo-inflammatory process. Currently, no study has investigated ACE I/D polymorphism involvement in COVID-19 disease complicated by pulmonary embolism, hence the aim of the present pilot study. This is a retrospective, single-center observational case-control study, conducted at the Sub-Intensive Care Unit of A.O.R.N. Ospedali dei Colli, Cotugno Hospital, Naples (Italy). We included 68 subjects with severe/critical COVID-19 pneumonia. COVID-19 patients were divided according to occurrence of PE (PE+, n = 25) or absence of thromboembolic complications (PE-, n = 43). Assessment of ACE I/D polymorphisms showed a statistically significant difference between PE+ and PE- patients (p = 0.029). Particularly, prevalence of D/D homozygous polymorphism was significantly higher in PE+ COVID-19 patients than in PE- (72 vs. 46.5%; p = 0.048), while heterozygote I/D polymorphism was significantly lower expressed in PE+ patients than in PE- (16 vs. 48.8%; p = 0.009). Computed tomographic pulmonary angiography showed predominantly mono/bilateral sub-segmental embolisms. In conclusion, our findings let us hypothesize a genetic susceptibility to thromboembolism in COVID-19 disease. ACE D/D polymorphism might represent a genetic risk factor, although studies on larger populations are needed.

15.
Minerva Pneumologica ; 59(3):55-59, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-914943

ABSTRACT

We present five cases of patients affected by severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia (COVID-19) complicated by acute pulmonary embolism (APE). The clinical presentation, D-dimer levels, and the time of appearance of the acute pulmonary embolism were different in every single case. First case was a 46-year-old man affected by bilateral pneumonia COVID-19 with a high D-dimer serum value on the first day of hospitalization. Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) showed bilateral pulmonary embolism. Second case was a 51-year-old man affected by acute respiratory failure from bilateral pneumonia-COVID-19 with a significant and sudden increase of D-dimer levels on the twelfth day of illness, CTPA showed widespread bilateral embolism. Third case was a 62-year-old man affected by acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 with persistently low D-dimer values but with HRCT evidence of vascular dilatation that is characteristic for the presence of thrombosis. The CTPA practiced subsequently ascertained the presence of diffuse segmental embolism. Fourth case was a 35year-old woman, with respiratory failure and severe dyspnea due to COVID-19. No elevation of D-dimer levels. Blood gas analysis (BGA) showed middle hypoxemia and normocapnia;on fifth day she performed CT angiography for persistent dyspnea and chest pain, that documented bilateral pulmonary embolism. Finally, fifth case was a 47 years old man, affected by acute respiratory failure due to bilateral pneumonia COVID-19 related, and normal D-dimer levels. CT angiography showed bilateral pulmonary embolism.

16.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 531, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-769239

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus that belongs to the family Coronaviridae and the order Nidovirales (1). During December 2019, a series of pneumonia cases caused by a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and rapidly spread across the world. The spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID 19) varies from asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic forms to clinical conditions characterized by respiratory failure that necessitate mechanical ventilation and support in an intensive care unit (ICU), multiorgan and systemic manifestations, and, in terms of sepsis, septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS) (2). Whilst many reports have characterized the clinical, epidemiological, laboratory, and radiological features, as well as treatment and clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, information on SARS-CoV-2 reactivation remains unreported. Curative and eradicative therapy for COVID-19 is not currently available (3). We report a case of a patient with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia who experienced reactivation after 43 days and negative PCR sampling.

17.
Front Neurol ; 11: 737, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-688694

ABSTRACT

Objective: In early 2020, Italy struggled with an unprecedented health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical care of chronic neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, is being sorely neglected. In this national survey, we aimed at understanding the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the care of people with epilepsy (PwE) and identifying PwE risk factors for seizure worsening to direct telemedicine efforts. Methods: We administered a 48-items online survey (published on April 11, 2020) including socio-demographic, epilepsy-related, and psychometric variables (BDI-II for depression, GAD-7 for anxiety, and PSQI for sleep) to PwE and people without epilepsy (PwoE). Regression analysis identified predictors of seizure worsening. Results: We collected responses from 456 PwE (344 females) and 472 PwoE (347 females). Outpatient examinations of PwE were postponed in 95% of cases. One-third of PwE complained of issues with epilepsy management, but only 71% of them reached the treating physician and solved their problems. PwE had worse depressive and anxiety symptoms (higher BDI-II and GAD-7 scores; p < 0.001) than PwoE. Sleep quality was equally compromised in both groups (47 and 42%). Sixty-seven PwE (18%) reported seizure worsening, which was best explained by the number of anti-seizure medications (ASM) of chronic therapy and the severity of sleep disorder. Conclusions: During the current COVID-19 pandemic, a significant percentage of PwE experienced difficulties in follow-up and a seizure number increase, in particular those chronically taking more ASMs and with poor sleep quality. This dramatic experience outlines the urgent need for validation and implementation of telemedicine services for epileptic patients in order to provide regular follow-up.

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