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World J Gastroenterol ; 28(44): 6282-6293, 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2163756


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen responsible for pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is a highly contagious virus which primarily affects the respiratory tract, nevertheless, the lungs are not the only target organs of the virus. The intestinal tract could represent an additional tropism site for SARS-CoV-2. Several observations have collectively suggested that enteric infections can occur in COVID-19 patients. However, the detection of viral RNA in gastrointestinal (GI) tissue samples has not been adequately investigated and results are conflicting. AIM: To detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in intestinal mucosa samples and to evaluate histological features. METHODS: The COVID-19 patients hospitalized at an Italian tertiary hospital from April 2020 to March 2021 were evaluated for enrollment in an observational, monocentric trial. The study population was composed of two groups of adult patients. In the first group (biopsy group, 30 patients), patients were eligible for inclusion if they had mild to moderate disease and if they agreed to have a rectal biopsy; in the second group (surgical specimen group, 6 patients), patients were eligible for inclusion if they underwent intestinal resection during index hospitalization. Fifty-nine intestinal mucosal samples were analyzed. RESULTS: Viral RNA was not detectable in any of the rectal biopsies performed (0/53). Histological examination showed no enterocyte damage, but slight edema of the lamina propria with mild inflammatory lymphoplasmacytic infiltration. There was no difference in inflammatory infiltrates in patients with and without GI symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in fecal samples in 6 cases out of 14 cases examined (42.9%). In the surgical specimen group, all patients underwent emergency intestinal resection. Viral RNA was detected in 2 surgical specimens of the 6 examined, both of which were from patients with active neoplastic disease. Histological examination also pointed out abundant macrophages, granulocytes and plasma cells infiltrating the muscular layer and adipose tissue, and focal vasculitis. CONCLUSION: Mild-moderate COVID-19 may not be associated with rectal infection by the virus. More comprehensive autopsies or surgical specimens are needed to provide histological evidence of intestinal infection.

COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Intestines , Patients , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
Frontiers in pediatrics ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2147242


Background Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but serious condition that can potentially develop after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. Gastrointestinal manifestation in MIS-C can mimic acute abdomen, potentially leading to unnecessary surgical treatment. Immune-mediated mechanisms seem to be a determining factor in its pathogenesis, and histological studies can help to shed light on this aspect. We describe three cases of children diagnosed with MIS-C that underwent appendectomy. Methods We retrospectively collected the clinical features and histological findings of three previously healthy children who underwent appendectomy for clinical suspicion of acute appendicitis but were later diagnosed with MIS-C. Findings The three children presented with prominent abdominal manifestations and fever leading to the suspicion of acute abdomen. Histological findings showed transmural and perivascular inflammation. Notably, CD68+ macrophages were predominant in the child with milder abdominal symptoms without cardiac injury, while CD3+ lymphocytes in the patient presented with more severe abdominal pain and cardiovascular involvement at admission. Interpretation Gastrointestinal symptoms of children with MIS-C improve after proper immunomodulatory therapy, conversely showing inadequate response to surgical appendectomy. Histological findings revealed different inflammatory cell infiltration that primarily involved perivisceral fat and vessels, and subsequently mucosal tissue, in contrast to other forms of acute appendicitis. Our findings suggest that this kind of peri-appendicitis in MIS-C could represent a focal sign of systemic inflammation, with different histological patterns compared to other forms of acute appendicitis.

Biomolecules ; 12(5)2022 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809689


Neurological symptoms are increasingly recognized in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. However, the neuropathogenesis remains unclear and it is not possible to define a specific damage pattern due to brain virus infection. In the present study, 33 cases of brain autopsies performed during the first (February-April 2020) and the second/third (November 2020-April 2021) pandemic waves are described. In all the cases, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was searched. Pathological findings are described and compared with those presently published.

COVID-19 , Adult , Autopsy , Brain , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2