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Multidiscip Respir Med ; 16(1): 759, 2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810595


BACKGROUND: In COVID-19, higher than expected level of intrapulmonary shunt has been described, in association with a discrepancy between the initial relatively preserved lung mechanics and the hypoxia severity. This study aim was to measure the shunt fraction and variations of PaO2/FiO2 ratio and oxygen alveolar-arterial gradient (A-a O2) at different FiO2. METHODS: Shunt was measured by a non-invasive system during spontaneous breathing in 12 patients hospitalized at COVID-19 Semi-Intensive Care Unit of Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy, between October 22 and November 23, 2020. RESULTS: Nine patients were men, mean age (±SD) 62±15 years, mean BMI 27.5±4.8 Kg/m2. Systemic hypertension, diabetes type 2 and previous myocardial infarction were referred in 33%, 17%, and 7%, respectively. Mean PaO2/FiO2 ratio was 234±66 and 11 patients presented a bilateral chest X-ray involvement. Mean shunt was 21±6%. Mainly in patients with a more severe respiratory failure, we found a progressive decrease of PaO2/FiO2 ratio with higher FiO2. Considering (A-a O2), we found a uniform tendency to increase with FiO2 increasing. Even in this case, the more severe were the patients, the higher was the slope, suggesting FiO2 insensitiveness due to a shunt effect, as strengthened by our measurements. CONCLUSION: Relying on a single evaluation of PaO2/FiO2 ratio, especially at high FiO2, could be misleading in COVID-19. We propose a two steps evaluation, the first at low SpO2 value (e.g., 92-94%) and the second one at high FiO2 (i.e., >0.7), allowing to characterize both the amendable (ventilation/perfusion mismatch), and the fixed (shunt) contribution quote of respiratory impairment, respectively.

Eur Heart J Suppl ; 23(Suppl E): E95-E98, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1584910


SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with frequent thrombotic events, at the micro and macro-vascular level, due to the perpetuation of a state of hypercoagulability. The so-called 'COVID-19 associated coagulopathy' (CAC) represents a key aspect in the genesis of organ damage from SARS-CoV-2. The main coagulative alterations described in the literature are represented by high levels of D-dimer and fibrinogen. Although CAC has some common features with disseminated intravascular coagulation and sepsis-induced coagulopathy, there are important differences between these clinical pictures and the phenotype of CAC is unique. The pathogenesis of CAC is complex and is affected by the strong interconnection between the inflammatory system and coagulation, in the phenomenon of immunothrombosis and thrombo-inflammation. Several mechanisms come into play, such as inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils, the complement system as well as an alteration of the fibrinolytic system. Finally, an altered platelet function and especially endothelial dysfunction also play a central role in the pathophysiology of CAC. Heparin has several potential effects in CAC, in fact in addition to the anticoagulant effect, it could have a direct antiviral effect and anti-inflammatory properties. The high incidence of thrombo-embolic phenomena despite the use of antithrombotic prophylaxis have led some experts to recommend the use of anticoagulant doses of heparin, but at present the optimal anticoagulant regimen remains to be determined.