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J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1689-1692, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718387


The appearance of emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 carrying mutations into the spike protein has recently raised concern with respect to tracking their transmission and mitigating the impact in the evolving pandemic across countries. AY.4.2, a recently detected Delta variant sublineage, is considered a new variant under investigation (VUI) as it carries specific genetic signatures present in the spike protein, called Y145H and A222V. Here, using genomic epidemiology, we provide the first preliminary insight regarding the circulation of this emerging VUI in Italy.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Genomics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Mutation , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(2)2022 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707269


BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffer from delirium during hospitalization. This single-center observational study investigates the occurrence of delirium, the associated risk factors and its impact on in-hospital mortality in an Italian cohort of COVID 19 inpatients. METHODS: Data were collected in the COVID units of a general medical hospital in the South of Italy. Socio-demographic, clinical and pharmacological features were collected. Diagnosis of delirium was based on a two-step approach according to 4AT criteria and DSM5 criteria. Outcomes were: dates of hospital discharge, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission, or death, whichever came first. Univariable and multivariable proportional hazards Cox regression models were estimated, and risks were reported as hazard ratios (HR) along with their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: A total of 47/214 patients (22%) were diagnosed with delirium (21 hypoactive, 15 hyperactive, and 11 mixed). In the multivariable model, four independent variables were independently associated with the presence of delirium: dementia, followed by age at admission, C-reactive protein (CRP), and Glasgow Coma Scale. In turn, delirium was the strongest independent predictor of death/admission to ICU (composite outcome), followed by Charlson Index (not including dementia), CRP, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. The probability of reaching the composite outcome was higher for patients with the hypoactive subtype than for those with the hyperactive subtype. CONCLUSIONS: Delirium was the strongest predictor of poor outcome in COVID-19 patients, especially in the hypoactive subtype. Several clinical features and inflammatory markers were associated with the increased risk of its occurrence. The early recognition of these factors may help clinicians to select patients who would benefit from both non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions in order to prevent delirium, and in turn, reduce the risk of admission to ICU or death.

J Clin Med ; 10(22)2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512407


BACKGROUND: The clinical course of COVID-19 is more severe in elderly patients with cardio-metabolic co-morbidities. Chronic kidney disease is considered an independent cardiovascular risk factor. We aimed to evaluate the impact of reduced eGFR on the composite outcome of admission to ICU and death in a sample of consecutive COVID-19 hospitalized patients. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated clinical records of a consecutive sample of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. A total of 231 patients were considered for statistical analysis. The whole sample was divided in two groups on the basis of eGFR value, e.g., ≥ or <60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Patients with low eGFR were further divided among those with a history of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and those without (AKI, acute kidney injury). The primary outcome was a composite of admission to ICU or death, whichever occurred first. The single components were secondary outcomes. RESULTS: Seventy-nine (34.2%) patients reached the composite outcome. A total of 64 patients (27.7%) died during hospitalization, and 41 (17.7%) were admitted to the ICU. A significantly higher number of events was present among patients with low eGFR (p < 0.0001). Age (p < 0.001), SpO2 (p < 0.001), previous anti-platelet treatment (p = 0.006), Charlson's Comorbidities Index (p < 0.001), serum creatinine (p < 0.001), eGFR (p = 0.003), low eGFR (p < 0.001), blood glucose levels (p < 0.001), and LDH (p = 0.003) were significantly associated with the main outcome in univariate analysis. Low eGFR (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.02-2.63, p = 0.040) and age (HR per 5 years 1.22, 95% CI 1.10-1.36, p < 0.001) were significantly and independently associated with the main outcome in the multivariate model. Patients with AKI showed an increased hazard ratio to reach the combined outcome (p = 0.059), while those patients with both CKD had a significantly higher probability of developing the combined outcome (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with reduced eGFR at admission should be considered at high risk for clinical deterioration and death, requiring the best supportive treatment in order to prevent the worst outcome.

Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(9)2021 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408835


BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction, coupled with inflammation, induces thrombo-inflammation. In COVID-19, this process is believed to be associated with clinical severity. Von Willebrand factor (VWF), and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 13 (ADAMTS-13), are strong markers of endothelial dysfunction. We evaluated the impact of the VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction on COVID-19 severity and prognosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cohort study including 74 COVID-19 patients, with 22 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and 52 to the medical ward (MW), was carried out. We also evaluated, in a group of 54 patients who were prospectively observed, whether variations in VWF/ADAMTS-13 correlated with the degree of severity and routine blood parameters. RESULTS: A VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction above 6.5 predicted in-hospital mortality in the entire cohort. At admission, a VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction above 5.7 predicted admission to the ICU. Furthermore, the VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 fraction directly correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) (Spearman r: 0.51, p < 0.0001) and D-dimer (Spearman r: 0.26, p = 0.03). In the prospective cohort, dynamic changes in VWF:RCo/ADAMTS-13 and the CRP concentration were directly correlated (Spearman r, p = 0.0014). This relationship was significant in both groups (ICU: p = 0.006; MW: p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The present findings show that in COVID-19, the VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction predicts in-hospital mortality. The VWF/ADAMTS-13 fraction may be a helpful tool to monitor COVID-19 patients throughout hospitalization.