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1.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 9: 912474, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043425

ABSTRACT

Background: The heart is commonly involved in COVID-19, and rhythm disorders have been largely reported. Objective: To evaluate the association of some non-cardiac and cardiac comorbidities and QT dispersion with arrhythmias and their impact on outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Methods: Each patient underwent cardiac telemetry monitoring through the entire hospitalization period, laboratory analyses, 12-lead ECG, and lung imaging examination. Patients with arrhythmia were divided into three groups (bradyarrhythmias, tachyarrhythmias, and tachy- and bradyarrhythmias). Results: Two-hundred patients completed the study (males, 123; mean age, 70.1 years); of these, 80 patients (40%) exhibited rhythm disorders on telemetry. Patients with arrhythmia were older (p < 0.0001), had a greater number of comorbidities (p < 0.0001), higher values of creatinine (p = 0.007), B-type natriuretic peptide (p < 0.0001), troponin (p < 0.0001), C-reactive protein (p = 0.01), ferritin (p = 0.001), D-dimer (p < 0.0001), procalcitonin (p = 0.0008), QT interval (p = 0.002), QTc interval (p = 0.04), and QTc dispersion (p = 0.01), and lower values of sodium (p = 0.03), magnesium (p = 0.04), glomerular filtration rate (p < 0.0001), and hemoglobin (p = 0.008) as compared to patients without arrhythmia. By comparing the three subgroups of patients, no significant differences were found. At multivariate analysis, age [odds ratio (OR) = 1.14 (95% CI: 1.07-1.22); p = 0.0004], coronary artery disease [OR = 12.7 (95% CI: 2.38-68.01); p = 0.005], and circulating troponin [OR = 1.05 (95% CI: 1.003-1.10); p = 0.04] represented risk factors independently associated with arrhythmia. All-cause in-hospital mortality was ∼40-fold higher among patients with arrhythmia [OR = 39.66 (95% CI: 5.20-302.51); p = 0.0004]. Conclusion: Arrhythmias are associated with aging, coronary artery disease, subtle myocardial injury, hyperinflammatory status, coagulative unbalance, and prolonged QTc dispersion in patients with COVID-19, and confer a worse in-hospital prognosis. Given its usefulness, routinary use of cardiac telemetry should be encouraged in COVID wards.

2.
J Transl Autoimmun ; 5: 100164, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031495

ABSTRACT

Background: Patients with autoimmune systemic diseases (ASDs) represent a frail population during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccination is the major preventive measure; however, a significant number of ASD patients show an impaired production of anti-COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies (NAb), possibly counterbalanced by adequate T-cell response. The present study aimed at evaluating both humoral and cellular response to COVID-19 vaccine booster dose in this particular setting. Patients and methods: Serum NAb titer and T-cell response (measuring interferon gamma -IFN-γ- release) were evaluated 3 weeks after the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, in 17 patients (12 F, mean age 68.8 ± 15.3 SD yrs) with different ASDs, compared to 17 healthy controls (HCs). Results: The analysis excluded one patient reporting symptoms of COVID-19 only after the immunogenicity tests had been performed.The NAb levels were significantly lower in ASD compared to HCs (p < 0.0001); moreover, patients showed a higher percentage of negative/sub-optimal humoral response (31% vs 0% of HCs; p = 0.0184).The study of cellular response showed lower levels of IFN-γ for both Ag1 (p = 0.0032) and Ag2 (p = 0.0136) in ASD patients compared to HCs, as well lower rate of adequate T-cell response compared to HCs (50% vs 94%; p = 0.0066).Disease modifying therapies (DMT) were administered in all patients with deficient NAb production (5/5, 100%), but in only 3/11 (27%) of responders (p = 0.025).Worthy to note, 3/16 (19%) ASD patients developed neither humoral nor cellular responses, all treated with DMT. Conclusions: The impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccine booster and even more the concomitant lack of both humoral and cellular response might represent a high risk for severe COVID-19, particularly in ASD patients undergoing DMT.These frail subjects should be tightly monitored for their immune protection and prioritized for the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, in the occurrence of SARS-CoV2 infection, treatments with specific monoclonal antibodies and/or antivirals may be highly recommendable.

3.
J Autoimmun ; 131: 102866, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2015569

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines. Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed at evaluating the seroconversion elicited by COVID-19 vaccine over the entire vaccination cycle including the booster dose. Among 478 unselected ASD patients originally evaluated at the end of the first vaccination cycle (time 1), 344 individuals were re-evaluated after a 6-month period (time 2), and 244 after the booster vaccine dose (time 3). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was assessed by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) on samples obtained at the three time points in both patients and 502 age-matched controls. In the 244 ASD group that received booster vaccine and monitored over the entire follow-up, the mean serum NAb levels (time 1, 2, and 3: 696.8 ± 52.68, 370.8 ± 41.92, and 1527 ± 74.16SD BAU/mL, respectively; p < 0.0001) were constantly lower compared to controls (p < 0.0001), but they significantly increased after the booster dose compared to the first two measurements (p < 0.0001). The percentage of patients with absent/suboptimal response to vaccine significantly decreased after the booster dose compared to the first and second evaluations (time 1, 2, and 3: from 28.2% to 46.3%, and to 7.8%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Of note, the percentage of patients with absent/suboptimal response after the booster dose was significantly higher compared to controls (19/244, 7.8% vs 1/502, 0.2%; p < 0.0001). Similarly, treatment with immune-modifiers increased the percentage of patients exhibiting absent/suboptimal response (16/122, 13.1% vs 3/122, 2.46%; p = 0.0031). Overall, the above findings indicate the usefulness of booster vaccine administration in ASD patients. Moreover, the persistence of a significantly higher percentage of individuals without effective seroconversion (7.8%), even after the booster dose, warrants for careful monitoring of NAb levels in all ASD patients to identify those with increased risk of infection. In this particularly frail patients' setting, tailored vaccination and/or therapeutic strategy are highly advisable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Vaccination
4.
Curr Pharm Des ; 28(24): 2022-2028, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902781

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) represent a predisposing condition to COVID-19. Our prospective, observational multicenter telephone survey study aimed to investigate the prevalence, prognostic factors, and outcomes of COVID-19 in Italian ASD patients. METHODS: The study included 3,918 ASD pts (815 M, 3103 F; mean age 59±12SD years) consecutively recruited between March 2020 and May 2021 at the 36 referral centers of COVID-19 and ASD Italian Study Group. The possible development of COVID-19 was recorded by means of a telephone survey using a standardized symptom assessment questionnaire. RESULTS: ASD patients showed a significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19 (8.37% vs. 6.49%; p<0.0001) but a death rate statistically comparable to the Italian general population (3.65% vs. 2.95%). Among the 328 ASD patients developing COVID-19, 17% needed hospitalization, while mild-moderate manifestations were observed in 83% of cases. Moreover, 12/57 hospitalized patients died due to severe interstitial pneumonia and/or cardiovascular events; systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients showed a significantly higher COVID-19-related death rate compared to the general population (6.29% vs. 2.95%; p=0.018). Major adverse prognostic factors to develop COVID-19 were: older age, male gender, SSc, pre-existing ASD-related interstitial lung involvement, and long-term steroid treatment. Of note, patients treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) showed a significantly lower prevalence of COVID-19 compared to those without (3.58% vs. 46.99%; p=0.000), as well as the SSc patients treated with low dose aspirin (with 5.57% vs. without 27.84%; p=0.000). CONCLUSION: During the first three pandemic waves, ASD patients showed a death rate comparable to the general population despite the significantly higher prevalence of COVID-19. A significantly increased COVID-19- related mortality was recorded in only SSc patients' subgroup, possibly favored by preexisting lung fibrosis. Moreover, ongoing long-term treatment with csDMARDs in ASD might usefully contribute to the generally positive outcomes of this frail patients' population.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents , Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Lung Diseases, Interstitial , Scleroderma, Systemic , Aged , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/drug therapy , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Prospective Studies
5.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809966

ABSTRACT

Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be complicated by interstitial pneumonia, possibly leading to severe acute respiratory failure and death. Because of variable evolution ranging from asymptomatic cases to the need for invasive ventilation, COVID-19 outcomes cannot be precisely predicted on admission. The aim of this study was to provide a simple tool able to predict the outcome of COVID-19 pneumonia on admission to a low-intensity ward in order to better plan management strategies for these patients. Methods The clinical records of 123 eligible patients were reviewed. The following variables were analyzed on admission: chest computed tomography severity score (CTSS), PaO2/FiO2 ratio, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lymphocyte to monocyte ratio, C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, D-dimer, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and albumin. The main outcome was the intensity of respiratory support (RS). To simplify the statistical analysis, patients were split into two main groups: those requiring no or low/moderate oxygen support (group 1); and those needing subintensive/intensive RS up to mechanical ventilation (group 2). Results The RS intensity was significantly associated with higher CTSS and NLR scores; lower PaO2/FiO2 ratios; and higher serum levels of LDH, CRP, D-dimer, and AST. After multivariate logistic regression and ROC curve analysis, CTSS and LDH were shown to be the best predictors of respiratory function worsening. Conclusions Two easy-to-obtain parameters (CTSS and LDH) were able to reliably predict a worse evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia with values of >7 and >328 U/L, respectively.

6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e403-e409, 2022 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1746922

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Remdesivir is an antiviral used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which improves some clinical outcomes. Dexamethasone has been shown to be effective in reducing mortality. It has been hypothesized that combination of these two drugs can improve mortality. We evaluated the effect of combination on mortality of COVID-19 patients requiring O2 therapy. METHODS: A prospective quasi-experimental study, including two independent, sequential controlled cohorts, one received remdesivir-dexamethasone and the other dexamethasone alone, was designed. All COVID-19 patients requiring supplemental O2 therapy were enrolled consecutively. The sample size to power mortality was a priori calculated. The primary endpoints were 30-day mortality and viral clearance differences. Secondary endpoints were differences in hospitalization times, improvement in respiratory failure (PO2/FiO2) and inflammatory indices (fibrinogen, CRP, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, D-Dimer). Kaplan-Meier curves and the log-rank test were used to evaluate significant differences in mortality between groups. RESULTS: In total, 151 COVID-19 patients were enrolled (remdesivir/dexamethasone group, 76, and dexamethasone alone, 75). No differences in demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics were observed between the 2 groups at baseline. Faster viral clearance occurred in the remdesivir/dexamethasone group compared to dexamethasone alone (median 6 vs 16 days; P < .001). The 30-day mortality in the remdesivir/dexamethasone group was 1.3%, whereas in dexamethasone alone was 16% (P < .005). In the remdesivir/dexamethasone group compared to dexamethasone alone there was a reduction in hospitalization days (P < .0001) and a faster improvement in both respiratory function and inflammatory markers. CONCLUSIONS: Remdesivir/dexamethasone treatment is associated with significant reduction in mortality, length of hospitalization, and faster SARS-CoV-2 clearance, compared to dexamethasone alone.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294702

ABSTRACT

Background: Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) may show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines . Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed to evaluate the seroconversion after the vaccination cycle and at 6-12-month follow-up, as well the safety and efficacy of vaccines in preventing COVID-19.<br><br>Methods: The study included 478 unselected ASD patients (mean age 59±15 years), namely 101 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 38 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 265 systemic sclerosis (SSc), 61 cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), and a miscellanea of 13 systemic vasculitis. The control group included 502 individuals from the general population (mean age 59±14SD years). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was evaluated by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) (SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant antibody test kit;Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL) on samples obtained within 3 weeks after vaccination cycle.<br><br>Findings: The short-term results of our prospective study revealed significantly lower NAb levels in ASD series compared to controls [286 (53-1203) vs 825 (451-1542) BAU/mL, p<0.0001], as well as between single ASD subgroups and controls. More interestingly, higher percentage of non-responders to vaccine was recorded in ASD patients compared to controls [13.2% (63/478), vs 2.8% (14/502);p<0.0001]. Increased prevalence of non-response to vaccine was also observed in different ASD subgroups, in patients with ASD-related interstitial lung disease (p=.009), and in those treated with glucocorticoids (p=.002), mycophenolate-mofetil (p<.0001), or rituximab (p<.0001). Comparable percentages of vaccine-related adverse effects were recorded among responder and non-responder ASD patients.<br><br>Interpretations: Patients with weak/absent seroconversion, believed to be immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection, are at high risk to develop COVID-19. Early determination of serum NAb after vaccination cycle may allow to identify three main groups of ASD patients: responders, subjects with suboptimal response, non-responders. Patients with suboptimal response should be prioritized for a booster-dose of vaccine;while a different type of vaccine could be administered to non-responder individuals.<br><br>Funding Information: None.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors do not have conflict of interest.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: The study protocol was approved by local ethic committee (RETRO-CoV2 study code #17886_bio);informed consent was obtained from all patients before participation.

10.
J Autoimmun ; 125: 102744, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509938

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) may show impaired immunogenicity to COVID-19 vaccines. Our prospective observational multicenter study aimed to evaluate the seroconversion after the vaccination cycle and at 6-12-month follow-up, as well the safety and efficacy of vaccines in preventing COVID-19. The study included 478 unselected ASD patients (mean age 59 ± 15 years), namely 101 rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 38 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 265 systemic sclerosis (SSc), 61 cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), and a miscellanea of 13 systemic vasculitis. The control group included 502 individuals from the general population (mean age 59 ± 14SD years). The immunogenicity of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273) was evaluated by measuring serum IgG-neutralizing antibody (NAb) (SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant antibody test kit; Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL) on samples obtained within 3 weeks after vaccination cycle. The short-term results of our prospective study revealed significantly lower NAb levels in ASD series compared to controls [286 (53-1203) vs 825 (451-1542) BAU/mL, p < 0.0001], as well as between single ASD subgroups and controls. More interestingly, higher percentage of non-responders to vaccine was recorded in ASD patients compared to controls [13.2% (63/478), vs 2.8% (14/502); p < 0.0001]. Increased prevalence of non-response to vaccine was also observed in different ASD subgroups, in patients with ASD-related interstitial lung disease (p = 0.009), and in those treated with glucocorticoids (p = 0.002), mycophenolate-mofetil (p < 0.0001), or rituximab (p < 0.0001). Comparable percentages of vaccine-related adverse effects were recorded among responder and non-responder ASD patients. Patients with weak/absent seroconversion, believed to be immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection, are at high risk to develop COVID-19. Early determination of serum NAb after vaccination cycle may allow to identify three main groups of ASD patients: responders, subjects with suboptimal response, non-responders. Patients with suboptimal response should be prioritized for a booster-dose of vaccine, while a different type of vaccine could be administered to non-responder individuals.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/blood , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Italy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Scleroderma, Systemic/immunology , Systemic Vasculitis/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency
11.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2129639, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473778

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are widely prescribed globally because of their ability to ameliorate shared immune pathways across immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), the impact of COVID-19 among individuals with IMIDs who are receiving TNF inhibitors remains insufficiently understood. Objective: To examine the association between the receipt of TNF inhibitor monotherapy and the risk of COVID-19-associated hospitalization or death compared with other commonly prescribed immunomodulatory treatment regimens among adult patients with IMIDs. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was a pooled analysis of data from 3 international COVID-19 registries comprising individuals with rheumatic diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis from March 12, 2020, to February 1, 2021. Clinicians directly reported COVID-19 outcomes as well as demographic and clinical characteristics of individuals with IMIDs and confirmed or suspected COVID-19 using online data entry portals. Adults (age ≥18 years) with a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or psoriasis were included. Exposures: Treatment exposure categories included TNF inhibitor monotherapy (reference treatment), TNF inhibitors in combination with methotrexate therapy, TNF inhibitors in combination with azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine therapy, methotrexate monotherapy, azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine monotherapy, and Janus kinase (Jak) inhibitor monotherapy. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was COVID-19-associated hospitalization or death. Registry-level analyses and a pooled analysis of data across the 3 registries were conducted using multilevel multivariable logistic regression models, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics and accounting for country, calendar month, and registry-level correlations. Results: A total of 6077 patients from 74 countries were included in the analyses; of those, 3215 individuals (52.9%) were from Europe, 3563 individuals (58.6%) were female, and the mean (SD) age was 48.8 (16.5) years. The most common IMID diagnoses were rheumatoid arthritis (2146 patients [35.3%]) and Crohn disease (1537 patients [25.3%]). A total of 1297 patients (21.3%) were hospitalized, and 189 patients (3.1%) died. In the pooled analysis, compared with patients who received TNF inhibitor monotherapy, higher odds of hospitalization or death were observed among those who received a TNF inhibitor in combination with azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine therapy (odds ratio [OR], 1.74; 95% CI, 1.17-2.58; P = .006), azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine monotherapy (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.30-2.61; P = .001), methotrexate monotherapy (OR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.57-2.56; P < .001), and Jak inhibitor monotherapy (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.21-2.73; P = .004) but not among those who received a TNF inhibitor in combination with methotrexate therapy (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.85-1.63; P = .33). Similar findings were obtained in analyses that accounted for potential reporting bias and sensitivity analyses that excluded patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis based on symptoms alone. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, TNF inhibitor monotherapy was associated with a lower risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes compared with other commonly prescribed immunomodulatory treatment regimens among individuals with IMIDs.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/drug therapy , Psoriasis/drug therapy , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Adult , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Drug Therapy, Combination/adverse effects , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Psoriasis/epidemiology , Registries , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Curr Pharm Des ; 27(41): 4245-4252, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic may have a deleterious impact on patients with autoimmune systemic diseases (ASD) due to their deep immune-system alterations. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the prevalence of symptomatic Covid-19 and its correlations with both organ involvement and ongoing treatments in a large series of Italian ASD patients during the first wave of pandemic. METHODS: Our multicenter telephone 6-week survey included 3,029 unselected ASD patients enrolled at 36 tertiary referral centers of northern, central, and southern Italian macro-areas with different diffusion of the pandemic. Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was classified as definite Covid-19 (presence of symptoms plus positive oral/nasopharyngeal swabs) or highly suspected Covid-19 (highly suggestive symptoms, in the absence of a swab testing). RESULTS: A significantly higher prevalence of definite plus highly suspected Covid-19 compared to the Italian general population was detected in the whole ASD series (p=.000), as well as in patients from the three macro-areas (p=.000 in all). Statistically higher prevalence of Covid-19 was also found in connective tissue diseases compared to chronic arthritis subgroup (p=.000) and in ASD patients with pre-existing interstitial lung involvement (p=.000). Patients treated with either conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and/or biological DMARDs showed a significantly lower prevalence of Covid-19 (p=.000 in both). Finally, scleroderma patients undergoing low-dose aspirin showed a significantly lower rate of Covid-19 compared to those without (p=0.003). CONCLUSION: The higher prevalence of Covid-19 in ASD patients, along with the significant correlations with important clinical features and therapeutic regimens, suggests the need to develop targeted prevention/management strategies during the current pandemic wave.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Lung , Pandemics , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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