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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335491

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel cause of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). With the increase of ARDS cases during COVID-19 pandemic, the use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has grown significantly in the hospital ward. However, there is a lack of evidence to support its efficacy in these patients. Methods We conducted an observational cohort study including adult ARDS COVID-19 patients admitted in a third level COVID-center in Rome, Italy (Jan-Sep 2020). The study analyzed the rate of NIV failure defined by the occurrence of orotracheal intubation and/or death within 28 days from starting NIV, its effectiveness, and its relative risk of death. The factors associated with the outcomes were identified through a logistic regression analysis. Results During the study period, a total of 942 COVID-19 patients were admitted, of which 307 (32.5%) with ARDS at hospitalization. Overall, 224 (23.8%) were treated with NIV. NIV failure occurred in 84 (37.5%) patients. Moderate and severe ARDS had an increased risk of NIV failure within 28 days from starting NIV of 5- (aOR = 5.01, 95% CI 2.08–12.09) and 20-fold (aOR = 19.95, 5.31–74.94) respectively, compared to patients with mild ARDS. A total of 128 patients (13.5%) were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). At 28-day from ICU admission, COVID-19 patients treated with NIV without intubation had 96% lower mortality (aOR 0.04, 0.01–0.32) in comparison with patients that underwent orotracheal intubation without prior NIV. Conclusions NIV failure was independently associated with COVID-19 ARDS severity. Starting NIV in COVID-19 patients with already mild ARDS (P/F > 200 mmHg) appears to increase NIV effectiveness and reduce the risk of orotracheal intubation and/or death. Moreover, early NIV treatment seems to reduce the risk of ICU mortality within 28 days from ICU admission.

2.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820313

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Although COVID-19 is largely a respiratory disease, it is actually a systemic disease that has a wide range of effects that are not yet fully known. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, predictors and outcome of non-hepatic hyperammonemia (NHH) in COVID-19 in intensive care unit (ICU); (2) Methods: This is a 3-month prospective observational study in a third-level COVID-19 hospital. The authors collected demographic, clinical, severity score and outcome data. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of NHH; (3) Results: 156 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the ICU. The incidence of NHH was 12.2% (19 patients). The univariate analysis showed that invasive mechanical ventilation had a 6.6-fold higher risk (OR 6.66, 95% CI 0.86-51.6, p = 0.039) for NHH, while in the multiple regression analysis, there was a 7-fold higher risk for NHH-but it was not statistically significant (OR 7.1, 95% CI 0.90-56.4, p = 0.062). Demographics, clinical characteristics and mortality in the ICU at 28 days did not show a significant association with NHH. (4) Conclusions: The incidence of NHH in ICU COVID-19 patients was not low. NHH did not appear to significantly increase mortality, and all patients with non-hepatic hyperammonemia were successfully treated without further complications. However, the pathogenesis of NHH in ICU patients with COVID-19 remains a topic to be explored with further research.

3.
Frontiers in microbiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1762612

ABSTRACT

Except for specific vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapeutic treatments are currently limited for COVID-19. Propolis, a honeybee’s product, has been suggested as a potential candidate for treatment of COVID-19 for its immunomodulatory properties and for its powerful activity against various types of viruses, including common coronaviruses. However, direct evidence regarding the antiviral activities of this product still remains poorly documented. VERO E6 and CALU3 cell lines were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and cultured in the presence of 12.5 or 25 μg/ml of a standardized Hydroalcoholic Extract acronym (sHEP) of Eurasian poplar type propolis and analyzed for viral RNA transcription, for cell damage by optical and electron microscopy, and for virus infectivity by viral titration at 2, 24, 48, and 72 h post-infection. The three main components of sHEP, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, galangin, and pinocembrin, were tested for the antiviral power, either alone or in combination. On both cell lines, sHEP showed significant effects mainly on CALU3 up to 48 h, i.e., some protection from cytopathic effects and consistent reduction of infected cell number, fewer viral particles inside cellular vesicles, reduction of viral titration in supernatants, dramatic drop of N gene negative sense RNA synthesis, and lower concentration of E gene RNA in cell extracts. Interestingly, pre-treatment of cells with sHEP before virus inoculation induced these same effects described previously and was not able to block virus entry. When used in combination, the three main constituents of sHEP showed antiviral activity at the same levels of sHEP. sHEP has a remarkable ability to hinder the replication of SARS-CoV-2, to limit new cycles of infection, and to protect host cells against the cytopathic effect, albeit with rather variable results. However, sHEP do not block the virus entry into the cells. The antiviral activity observed with the three main components of sHEP used in combination highlights that the mechanism underlying the antiviral activity of sHEP is probably the result of a synergistic effect. These data add further emphasis on the possible therapeutic role of this special honeybee’s product as an adjuvant to official treatments of COVID-19 patients for its direct antiviral activity.

4.
J Clin Med ; 11(6)2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742502

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is conflicting evidence for how HIV influences COVID-19 infection. The aim of this study was to compare characteristics at presentation and the clinical outcomes of people living with HIV (PLWH) versus HIV-negative patients (non-PLWH) hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS: Primary endpoint: time until invasive ventilation/death. Secondary endpoints: time until ventilation/death, time until symptoms resolution. RESULTS: A total of 1647 hospitalized patients were included (43 (2.6%) PLWH, 1604 non-PLWH). PLWH were younger (55 vs. 61 years) and less likely to be with PaO2/FiO2 < 300 mmHg compared with non-PLWH. Among PLWH, nadir of CD4 was 185 (75-322) cells/µL; CD4 at COVID-19 diagnosis was 272 cells/µL (127-468) and 77% of these were virologically suppressed. The cumulative probability of invasive mechanical ventilation/death at day 15 was 4.7% (95%CI 1.2-17.3) in PLWH versus 18.9% (16.9-21.1) in non-PLWH (p = 0.023). The cumulative probability of non-invasive/invasive ventilation/death at day 15 was 20.9% (11.5-36.4) in PLWH versus 37.6% (35.1-40.2) in non-PLWH (p = 0.044). The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of invasive mechanical ventilation/death of PLWH was 0.49 (95% CI 0.12-1.96, p = 0.310) versus non-PLWH; similarly, aHR of non-invasive/invasive ventilation/death of PLWH was 1.03 (95% CI 0.53-2.00, p = 0.926). CONCLUSION: A less-severe presentation of COVID-19 at hospitalization was observed in PLWH compared to non-PLWH; no difference in clinical outcomes could be detected.

5.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 820-824, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722476

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous reports highlighted the efficacy of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against coronavirus disease 2019. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study on the clinical outcome and antiviral effects of mAbs added to standard of care therapy in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with primary antibody defects. RESULTS: Median time of SARS-CoV-2 quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) positivity was shorter in 8 patients treated with mAbs (22 days) than in 10 patients treated with standard of care therapy only (37 days, P=.026). Median time of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR positivity from mAb administration was 10 days. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 mAbs treatment was effective and well tolerated in patients with primary antibody defects.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Common Variable Immunodeficiency , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , Humans , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Standard of Care
6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314865

ABSTRACT

Background: More detailed temporal analyses of complete (Full) blood count (CBC) parameters, their evolution and relationship to patient age, gender, co-morbidities and management outcomes in survivors and non-survivors with COVID-19 disease could help identify prognostic clinical biomarkers. Methods: From 29 January 2020 until 28 March 2020, we performed a longitudinal cohort study of COVID-19 inpatients at the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Rome, Italy. Nine CBC parameters as a continuous variable were studied [neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, platelets, mean platelet volume, red blood cell count, haemoglobin concentration, mean red blood cell volume and red blood cell distribution width (RDW %)]. Model-based punctual estimates and difference between survivors and non-survivors, overall, and by co-morbidities, at specific times after symptoms, with relative 95% CI and P-values were obtained by marginal prediction and ANOVA-style joint tests. All analyses were carried out by STATA 15 statistical package. Main Findings: 379 COVID-19 patients [273 (72% were male;mean age was 61.67 (SD 15.60)] were enrolled and 1,805 measures per parameter were analysed. Neutrophil counts were on average significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors (P<0.001) and lymphocytes were on average higher in survivors (P<0.001). These differences were time dependent. Reverse temporal trends were observed for lymphocyte and neutrophil counts in survivors and non-survivors. Average platelets counts (P<0.001) and median platelets volume (P<0.001) were significantly different in survivors and in non-survivors. The differences were time dependent and consistent with acute inflammation followed either by recovery or by death. Anaemia with anisocytosis were observed in the later phase of COVID-19 disease in non-survivors only. Mortality was significantly higher in patients with diabetes (p=0.005), obesity (p=0.010), chronic renal failure (p=0.001), COPD (p=0.033) cardiovascular diseases (p=0.001) and those >60 years(p=0.001). Age (p=0.042), obesity (p=0.002), chronic renal failure (p=0.002) and cardiovascular diseases (p=0.009) were independently associated with poor patient clinical outcome at 30 day after symptom onset. Interpretation: Increased neutrophil counts, reduced lymphocyte counts, higher median platelet volume, anemia with anisocytosis, in association with obesity, chronic renal failure, COPD, cardiovascular diseases and age >60 years predict poor prognosis in COVID19 patients.Funding Statement: Ricerca Corrente e Finalizzata Italy Ministry of Health, AIRC (IG2018-21880);Regione Lazio (Gruppi di ricerca, E56C18000460002).Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no competing interest.Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the IRB of Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” (INMI), in Rome (Italy).

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306696

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 is rapidly spreading worldwide. Healthcare systems are struggling to properly allocate resources while ensuring cure for diseases outside of the infection. The aim of this study was to demonstrate how surgical activity was affected by the virus outbreak and show the changes in practice in a tertiary referral COVID-19 center. Methods: . The official bulletins of the Italian National Institute for the Infectious Diseases “L. Spallanzani” were reviewed to retrieve the number of daily COVID-19 patients. Records of consecutive oncological and transplant procedures performed during the outbreak were reviewed. Patients with a high probability of postoperative intensive care unit (ICU) admission were considered as high-risk and defined by an ASA score ≥ III and/or a Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) ≥ 6 and/or a Revised Cardiac Risk Index for Preoperative Risk (RCRI) ≥ 3. Results: . 72 patients were operated including 12 (16.6%) liver (n=6) and kidney (n=6) transplantations. Patients had few comorbidities (26.3%), low ASA score (1.9±0.5), CCI (3.7±1.3) and RCRI (1.2±0.6) and had low risk of postoperative ICU admission. Few patients had liver cirrhosis (12.5%) or received preoperative systemic therapy (16.6%). 36 (50%) high risk surgical procedures were performed including major hepatectomies, pancreaticoduodenectomies, total gastrectomies, multivisceral resections and transplantations. Despite this, only 15 patients (20.8%) were admitted to the ICU. Conclusions: . Only oncologic cases and transplantations were performed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Careful selection of patients allowed to perform major cancer surgeries and transplantations without further stressing hospital resources, meanwhile minimizing collateral damage to patients.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322655

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Benefits and timing of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients are still controversial. PDT is considered a high risk procedure for transmission of SARS CoV-2 to health care workers (HCWs). The present study analyzed optimal timing of PDT, clinical outcomes of patients undergoing PDT and safety of HCWs performing PDT. (2) Methods: 133 COVID-19 patients underwent PDT in our ICU from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, 23 patients were excluded and 110 patients were enrolled. A trained medical team was dedicated to the PDT procedure. Demographic, clinical history and outcome data were collected. Patients who underwent PDT were stratified into two groups: early group, PDT ≤12 days from orotracheal-intubation (OTI) and late group, &gt;12 days from OTI;HCW surveillance program was performed. (3) Results: Early group included 57 patients and late group included 53 patients. Early group patients showed shorter ICU length of stay and fewer days of mechanical ventilation than the late group (p&lt;0.001). At day 7 after tracheostomy, early group patients required fewer intravenous anesthetic drugs and experienced an improvement of ventilation parameters, PaO2/FiO2-Ratio, PEEP and FiO2 (p&lt;0.001). No difference in case fatality ratio between the two groups was reported. No SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported in HCWs performing PDT. (4) Conclusions: PDT was safe and effective for COVID-19 patients, since it improved respiratory support parameters, reduced ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, and optimized the weaning process. The procedure was safe for all HCWs involved in the dedicated medical team. The development of standardized early PDT protocols should be implemented and PDT procedure could be considered as first line approach in ICU COVID-19 requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation.

9.
J Clin Med ; 10(23)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566682

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 is a novel cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Indeed, with the increase of ARDS cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an increase in the incidence of cases with pneumothorax (PNX) and pneumomediastinum (PNM). However, the incidence and the predictors of PNX/PMN in these patients are currently unclear and even conflicting. (2) Methods: The present observational study analyzed the incidence of barotrauma (PNX/PNM) in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS hospitalized in a year of the pandemic, also focusing on the three waves occurring during the year, and treated with positive-pressure ventilation (PPV). We collected demographic and clinical data. (3) Results: During this period, 40 patients developed PNX/PNM. The overall incidence of barotrauma in all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a year was 1.6%, and in those with moderate-severe ARDS in PPV was 7.2% and 3.8 events per 1000 positive-pressure ventilator days. The incidence of barotrauma in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients during the three waves was 7.8%, 7.4%, and 8.7%, respectively. Treatment with noninvasive respiratory support alone was associated with an incidence of barotrauma of 9.1% and 2.6 events per 1000 noninvasive ventilator days, of which 95% were admitted to the ICU after the event, due to a worsening of respiratory parameters. The incidence of barotrauma of ICU COVID-19 patients in invasive ventilation over a year was 5.8% and 2.7 events per 1000 invasive ventilator days. There was no significant difference in demographics and clinical features between the barotrauma and non-barotrauma group. The mortality was higher in the barotrauma group (17 patients died, 47.2%) than in the non-barotrauma group (170 patients died, 37%), although this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.429). (4) Conclusions: The incidence of PNX/PNM in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients did not differ significantly between the three waves over a year, and does not appear to be very different from that in ARDS patients in the pre-COVID era. The barotrauma does not appear to significantly increase mortality in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS if protective ventilation strategies are applied. Attention should be paid to the risk of barotrauma in COVID-19 patients in noninvasive ventilation because the event increases the probability of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and intubation.

10.
J Clin Med ; 10(23)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542621

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 is a novel cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Indeed, with the increase of ARDS cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an increase in the incidence of cases with pneumothorax (PNX) and pneumomediastinum (PNM). However, the incidence and the predictors of PNX/PMN in these patients are currently unclear and even conflicting. (2) Methods: The present observational study analyzed the incidence of barotrauma (PNX/PNM) in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS hospitalized in a year of the pandemic, also focusing on the three waves occurring during the year, and treated with positive-pressure ventilation (PPV). We collected demographic and clinical data. (3) Results: During this period, 40 patients developed PNX/PNM. The overall incidence of barotrauma in all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a year was 1.6%, and in those with moderate-severe ARDS in PPV was 7.2% and 3.8 events per 1000 positive-pressure ventilator days. The incidence of barotrauma in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients during the three waves was 7.8%, 7.4%, and 8.7%, respectively. Treatment with noninvasive respiratory support alone was associated with an incidence of barotrauma of 9.1% and 2.6 events per 1000 noninvasive ventilator days, of which 95% were admitted to the ICU after the event, due to a worsening of respiratory parameters. The incidence of barotrauma of ICU COVID-19 patients in invasive ventilation over a year was 5.8% and 2.7 events per 1000 invasive ventilator days. There was no significant difference in demographics and clinical features between the barotrauma and non-barotrauma group. The mortality was higher in the barotrauma group (17 patients died, 47.2%) than in the non-barotrauma group (170 patients died, 37%), although this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.429). (4) Conclusions: The incidence of PNX/PNM in moderate-severe ARDS COVID-19 patients did not differ significantly between the three waves over a year, and does not appear to be very different from that in ARDS patients in the pre-COVID era. The barotrauma does not appear to significantly increase mortality in COVID-19 patients with moderate-severe ARDS if protective ventilation strategies are applied. Attention should be paid to the risk of barotrauma in COVID-19 patients in noninvasive ventilation because the event increases the probability of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and intubation.

11.
Biol Sex Differ ; 12(1): 63, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528694

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several biomarkers have been identified to predict the outcome of COVID-19 severity, but few data are available regarding sex differences in their predictive role. Aim of this study was to identify sex-specific biomarkers of severity and progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19. METHODS: Plasma levels of sex hormones (testosterone and 17ß-estradiol), sex-hormone dependent circulating molecules (ACE2 and Angiotensin1-7) and other known biomarkers for COVID-19 severity were measured in male and female COVID-19 patients at admission to hospital. The association of plasma biomarker levels with ARDS severity at admission and with the occurrence of respiratory deterioration during hospitalization was analysed in aggregated and sex disaggregated form. RESULTS: Our data show that some biomarkers could be predictive both for males and female patients and others only for one sex. Angiotensin1-7 plasma levels and neutrophil count predicted the outcome of ARDS only in females, whereas testosterone plasma levels and lymphocytes counts only in males. CONCLUSIONS: Sex is a biological variable affecting the choice of the correct biomarker that might predict worsening of COVID-19 to severe respiratory failure. The definition of sex specific biomarkers can be useful to alert patients to be safely discharged versus those who need respiratory monitoring.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , Hospitalization , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/complications , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Sex Characteristics , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/blood , Angiotensins/blood , COVID-19/blood , Estradiol/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Insufficiency/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Testosterone/blood
12.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 820-824, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506650

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous reports highlighted the efficacy of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against coronavirus disease 2019. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study on the clinical outcome and antiviral effects of mAbs added to standard of care therapy in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with primary antibody defects. RESULTS: Median time of SARS-CoV-2 quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) positivity was shorter in 8 patients treated with mAbs (22 days) than in 10 patients treated with standard of care therapy only (37 days, P=.026). Median time of SARS-CoV-2 qPCR positivity from mAb administration was 10 days. CONCLUSIONS: The SARS-CoV-2 mAbs treatment was effective and well tolerated in patients with primary antibody defects.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Common Variable Immunodeficiency , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , Humans , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Standard of Care
13.
Liver Int ; 42(1): 180-186, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488231

ABSTRACT

Limited data are available on risks and benefits of anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination in solid organ transplant recipients, and weaker responses have been described. At the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases, 61 liver transplant recipients underwent testing to describe the dynamics of humoral and cell-mediated immune response after two doses of anti-SARS-CoV2 mRNA vaccines and compared with 51 healthy controls. Humoral response was measured by quantifying both anti-spike and neutralizing antibodies; cell-mediated response was measured by PBMC proliferation assay with IFN-γ and IL-2 production. Liver transplant recipients showed lower response rates compared with controls in both humoral and cellular arms; shorter time since transplantation and multi-drug immunosuppressive regimen containing mycophenolate mofetil were predictive of reduced response to vaccination. Specific antibody and cytokine production, though reduced, were highly correlated in transplant recipients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients , Vaccination
14.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 244-251, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351698

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between sex hormones and the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Furthermore, associations between sex hormones and systemic inflammation markers, viral shedding and length of hospital stay were studied. DESIGN AND METHODS: This case-control study included a total of 48 male patients with COVID-19 admitted to an Italian reference hospital. The 24 cases were patients with PaO2/FiO2 <250 mmHg and who needed ventilatory support during hospitalization (severe COVID-19). The 24 controls were selected in a 1:1 ratio, matched by age, from patients who maintained PaO2/FiO2 >300 mmHg at all times and who may have required low-flow oxygen supplementation during hospitalization (mild COVID-19). For each group, sex hormones were evaluated on hospital admission. RESULTS: Patients with severe COVID-19 (cases) had a significantly lower testosterone level compared with patients with mild COVID-19 (controls). Median total testosterone (TT) was 1.4 ng/mL in cases and 3.5 ng/mL in controls (P = 0.005); median bioavailable testosterone (BioT) was 0.49 and 1.21 in cases and controls, respectively (P = 0.008); and median calculated free testosterone (cFT) was 0.029 ng/mL and 0.058 ng/mL in cases and controls, respectively (P = 0.015). Low TT, low cFT and low BioT were correlated with hyperinflammatory syndrome (P = 0.018, P = 0.048 and P = 0.020, respectively) and associated with longer length of hospital stay (P = 0.052, P = 0.041 and P = 0.023, respectively). No association was found between sex hormone level and duration of viral shedding, or between sex hormone level and mortality rate. CONCLUSIONS: A low level of testosterone was found to be a marker of clinical severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomarkers , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Male , Testosterone , Virulence Factors
15.
J Clin Med ; 10(15)2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335120

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The benefits and timing of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients are still controversial. PDT is considered a high-risk procedure for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to healthcare workers (HCWs). The present study analyzed the optimal timing of PDT, the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing PDT, and the safety of HCWs performing PDT. METHODS: Of the 133 COVID-19 patients who underwent PDT in our ICU from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, 13 patients were excluded, and 120 patients were enrolled. A trained medical team was dedicated to the PDT procedure. Demographic, clinical history, and outcome data were collected. Patients who underwent PDT were stratified into two groups: an early group (PDT ≤ 12 days after orotracheal intubation (OTI) and a late group (>12 days after OTI). An HCW surveillance program was also performed. RESULTS: The early group included 61 patients and the late group included 59 patients. The early group patients had a shorter ICU length of stay and fewer days of mechanical ventilation than the late group (p < 0.001). On day 7 after tracheostomy, early group patients required fewer intravenous anesthetic drugs and experienced an improvement of the ventilation parameters PaO2/FiO2 ratio, PEEP, and FiO2 (p < 0.001). No difference in the case fatality ratio between the two groups was observed. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in the HCWs performing the PDTs. CONCLUSIONS: PDT was safe and effective for COVID-19 patients since it improved respiratory support parameters, reduced ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, and optimized the weaning process. The procedure was safe for all HCWs involved in the dedicated medical team. The development of standardized early PDT protocols should be implemented, and PDT could be considered a first-line approach in ICU COVID-19 patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation.

16.
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
17.
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.

18.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 683529, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247897

ABSTRACT

The outcome of COVID-19 appears to be influenced by vitamin D status of population. Although epidemiological data indicate that COVID-19 produces more severe symptoms and higher mortality in elderly in comparison to young patients and in men in comparison to women to date sex and age differences in vitamin D status in infected patients have not been evaluated yet. In this study we evaluated the levels of circulating 25(OH)D in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 divided accordingly to their sex and age. We also correlated 25(OH)D levels with patient's respiratory status (i.e., PaO2/FiO2 ratio) and with sex hormones plasma levels to analyze the potential relationship of these parameters. We found no significant differences in plasma levels of 25(OH)D between pre- and post-menopausal female patients and age matched male patients. Interestingly, the 25(OH)D plasma levels positively correlated to PaO2/FiO2 ratio only in young patients, regardless of their sex. We also found a significantly positive correlation between 17ß-estradiol and 25(OH)D in elderly women and between testosterone and 25(OH)D in elderly men, supporting the role of sex hormones in maintaining 25(OH)D levels. In conclusion, we suggest that a synergy between vitamin D and sex hormones could contribute to the age-related outcome of COVID-19.

19.
Cells ; 10(5)2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223957

ABSTRACT

Liver injury in COVID-19 patients has progressively emerged, even in those without a history of liver disease, yet the mechanism of liver pathogenicity is still controversial. COVID-19 is frequently associated with increased serum ferritin levels, and hyperferritinemia was shown to correlate with illness severity. The liver is the major site for iron storage, and conditions of iron overload have been established to have a pathogenic role in development of liver diseases. We presented here six patients who developed severe COVID-19, with biochemical evidence of liver failure. Three cases were survived patients, who underwent liver biopsy; the other three were deceased patients, who were autopsied. None of the patients suffered underlying liver pathologies. Histopathological and ultrastructural analyses were performed. The most striking finding we demonstrated in all patients was iron accumulation into hepatocytes, associated with degenerative changes. Abundant ferritin particles were found enclosed in siderosomes, and large aggregates of hemosiderin were found, often in close contact with damaged mitochondria. Iron-caused oxidative stress may be responsible for mitochondria metabolic dysfunction. In agreement with this, association between mitochondria and lipid droplets was also found. Overall, our data suggest that hepatic iron overload could be the pathogenic trigger of liver injury associated to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Iron Overload/etiology , Liver Failure/etiology , Liver/pathology , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents , Biopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Ferritins/analysis , Hepatocytes/cytology , Hepatocytes/pathology , Humans , Iron/analysis , Iron/metabolism , Iron Overload/mortality , Iron Overload/pathology , Iron Overload/therapy , Liver/cytology , Liver/metabolism , Liver Failure/mortality , Liver Failure/pathology , Liver Failure/therapy , Liver Function Tests , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/pathology , Positive-Pressure Respiration , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2272-2275, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165366

ABSTRACT

Increased production of inflammatory cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells occurs in patients with coronavirus disease 2019. These inversely correlated with perforin-expressing natural killer (NK) and CD3+ T cells. We observed a lower number of perforin-expressing NK cells in intensive care unit (ICU) patients compared with non-ICU patients, suggesting an impairment of the immune cytotoxic arm as a pathogenic mechanism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Perforin/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/immunology , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Italy , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
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