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1.
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle ; 13(1): 169-179, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557790

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Assessment of muscle quantity by sonographic muscle indices could help identify patients at risk for fatal outcome during coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to explore sonographic muscle indices as predictors of COVID-19 outcome and to test the feasibility of sonographic muscle measurement in an isolation context. METHODS: Muscle indices, derived from the psoas muscle or thigh muscles, were quantified by sonography in a cohort of patients without COVID-19 to obtain reference values for low muscle quantity. Gender-specific median of different muscle indices were defined as threshold value for low muscle quantity. The prognostic relevance of low muscle quantity, was prospectively explored in two cohorts of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Optimal muscle index cutoff values predictive for 30 day mortality during COVID-19 were determined by receiver operating characteristic-area under the curve and Youden index calculation. Muscle quantity and known prognostic factors of COVID-19 were analysed by multivariable log-regression. RESULTS: Compared with other muscle indices, the psoas muscle area index (PMAI) showed the most favourable characteristics to predict outcome of COVID-19 disease. Sonographic morphometry of patients without COVID-19 (n = 136) revealed a gender-specific median for PMAI (male: 291.1 mm2 /m2 , female 260.6 mm2 /m2 ) as threshold value of low muscle quantity. Subsequently, COVID-19 patients (Cohort I: n = 58; Cohort II: n = 55) were prospectively assessed by bedside sonography. The studied COVID-19 patients developed a critical course of disease in 22.4% (Cohort I: n = 13/58) and 34.5% (Cohort II: n = 20/55). Mortality rate reached 12.1% (Cohort I: n = 7/58) and 20.0% (Cohort I: n = 11/55) within 30 days of follow up. COVID-19 patients with a PMAI below the gender-specific median showed a higher 30 day mortality in both COVID-19 cohorts (log rank, P < 0.05). The optimal PMAI cutoff value (206 mm2 /m2 ) predicted 30 day mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 78.5% (receiver operating characteristic-area under the curve: 0.793, 95% confidence interval 0.671-0.914, P = 0.008). Multivariable log-regression analysis of PMAI, age, gender, BMI and comorbidities confirmed an independent association of low PMAI with 30 day mortality of COVID-19 patients (P = 0.018). CONCLUSIONS: Sonographic morphometry provides reliable muscle quantification under hygienic precautions and allows risk stratification of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , Psoas Muscles/diagnostic imaging , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 33(9): 1194-1200, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354344

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) infection is a global health threat. To inform the liver community on the potential relevance of COVID-19, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data on liver injury in patients with COVID-19 infection. METHODS: We searched PubMed and Google Scholar through 22 March according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Pooled data were analyzed by using random-effects meta-analyses. RESULTS: A total of 14 studies combining data from 2.871 patients were identified. The prevalence of pre-existing liver disease was reported at 3.1%. The pooled prevalence of elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels were 26% [95% confidence interval (CI), 20-32%] and 19% (95% CI, 14-26%), respectively. Only two studies reported the prevalence of elevated liver function tests according to normal ward versus ICU and here the frequency of elevated levels of AST was 50% and 62% versus ALT 40.8% and thus quantitatively higher in ICU-treated patients. Mean levels of absolute AST levels were 33 U/L (95% CI, 30.21-36.09), while mean ALT levels were 31 U/L (95% CI, 27.52-34.57). Cholestatic liver function tests were only incompletely reported in 510 patients. Here, mean levels of alkaline phosphatase were 71 U/L across three studies, and mean levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase were 40.6 U/L across four studies. CONCLUSIONS: Emerging data on LFTs in COVID-19 are heterogeneous indicating mild LFTs involvement in every fourth to fifth patients with numerical more prevalent AST over ALT elevations. Prospective studies are needed to define the clinical relevance of liver injury in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Diseases , Alanine Transaminase , Aspartate Aminotransferases , Humans , Liver , Liver Function Tests , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Clin Case Rep ; 8(12): 2990-2994, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335967

ABSTRACT

The biological anakinra appears promising to halt cytokine storm syndrome seen in severe courses of COVID-19. However, immunosuppression with anakinra may facilitate sepsis, necessitating continuous screening for bacterial superinfections.

4.
Hamostaseologie ; 2021 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334016

ABSTRACT

Immune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by severely reduced activity of the von Willebrand factor (VWF)-cleaving protease ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13) due to autoantibodies. This leads to the development of pathogenic multimers of VWF, causing a thrombotic microangiopathy with decreased number of platelets, hemolysis, and life-threatening tissue ischemia of mostly brain, heart, and kidneys. Standard treatment of iTTP involves daily plasma exchange to remove ultra large multimers of VWF, inhibitors, substituting ADAMTS13, and the accompaniment of an immunosuppressive treatment with steroids. Recently, caplacizumab was approved for iTTP. Caplacizumab is a nanobody binding the A1 domain of VWF, blocking its interaction with glycoprotein Ib-IX-V platelet receptor and therefore preventing platelet aggregation. VWF activities may serve as therapeutic drug monitoring of caplacizumab, whereas ADAMTS13 activities may be used for biomarkers to guide caplacizumab treatment modalities and overall treatment duration. Additional immunosuppressive treatment by inhibiting autoantibody formation (e.g., the use of Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the B-cell antigen CD20) is a further treatment option. Infections are well-known causes for an acute episode for patients with iTTP. The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is mainly associated with acute respiratory distress as well as diffuse endothelial inflammation and increased coagulopathy. However, little is known about an infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus triggering iTTP relapses. We herein report the case of an acute iTTP episode accompanying a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

5.
J Thromb Haemost ; 19(9): 2335-2347, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304123

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)-associated coagulopathy is a hallmark of disease severity and poor prognosis. The key manifestations of this prothrombotic syndrome-microvascular thrombosis, stroke, and venous and pulmonary clots-are also observed in severe and catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome. Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are detectable in COVID-19 patients, but their association with the clinical course of COVID-19 remains unproven. OBJECTIVES: To analyze the presence and relevance of lipid-binding aPL in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Two cohorts of 53 and 121 patients from a single center hospitalized for PCR-proven severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 infection were analyzed for the presence of aPL and clinical severity of COVID-19. RESULTS: We here demonstrate that lipid-binding aPL are common in COVID-19. COVID-19 patients with lipid-binding aPL have higher median concentrations of C-reactive protein and D-dimer, and are more likely to have a critical clinical course and fatal outcome. Lipid-binding aPL isolated from COVID-19 patients target the recently described cell surface complex of lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) with the protein C receptor (EPCR) to induce prothrombotic and inflammatory responses in monocytes and endothelial cells. We show that B1a cells producing lipid-reactive aPL of the IgG isotype circulate in the blood of COVID-19 patients. In vivo, COVID-19 aPL accelerate thrombus formation in an experimental mouse model dependent on the recently delineated signaling pathway involving EPCR-LBPA. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients rapidly expand B1a cells secreting pathogenic lipid-binding aPL with broad thrombotic and inflammatory effects. The association with markers of inflammation and coagulation, clinical severity, and mortality suggests a causal role of aPL in COVID-19-associated coagulopathy.


Subject(s)
Antiphospholipid Syndrome , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Antiphospholipid , Endothelial Cells , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 210(2-3): 165-171, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1184667

ABSTRACT

Several rapid antigen tests (RATs) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated recently. However, reliable performance data for laboratory-based, high-throughput antigen tests are lacking. Therefore and in response to a short-term shortage of PCR reagents, we evaluated DiaSorin's LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in comparison to RT-qPCR, and concerning the application of screening non-COVID-19 patients on hospital admission. Applying the manufacturer-recommended cut-off of 200 arbitrary units (AU/mL) the specificity of the LIAISON Test was 100%, the overall analytical sensitivity 40.2%. Lowering the cut-off to 100 AU/mL increased the sensitivity to 49.7% and decreased the specificity to 98.3%. Confining the analysis to samples with an RT-qPCR result < 25 Ct resulted in a sensitivity of 91.2%. The quality of the LIAISON test is very similar to that of good RATs described in the literature with the advantage of high throughput and the disadvantage of relatively long analysis time. It passes the WHO quality criteria for rapid antigen tests and is characterized by particularly high specificity. The LIAISON test can therefore be used for the same applications as recommended for RATs by the WHO. Due to limited sensitivity, the LIAISON test should only be used for screening, if PCR-based assays are not available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Germany , Hospitals , Humans , Mass Screening , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167683

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Dialysis patients and recipients of a kidney allograft are at high risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2. It has been shown that the development of potent neutralizing humoral immunity against SARS CoV-2 leads to an increased probability of survival. However, the question of whether immunocompromised patients develop antibodies has not yet been sufficiently investigated; (2) Methods: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were examined in hemodialysis patients on the waiting list for kidney transplantation as well as patients after kidney transplantation. Patients were interviewed about symptoms and comorbidities, BMI, and smoking history; (3) Results: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were found in 16 out of 259 patients (6%). The trend of infections here reflects the general course of infection in Germany with a peak in November/December of 2020. Remarkably, patients on the waiting list experienced only mild disease. In contrast, transplanted patients had to be hospitalized but recovered rapidly from COVID-19. Most interesting is that all immunosuppressed patients developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after infection; (4) Conclusions: Even with extensive hygiene concepts, an above-average number of patients were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the second wave of infections in Germany. Because SARS-CoV-2 infection triggered the formation of antibodies even in these immunocompromised patients, we expect vaccination to be effective in this group of patients. Thus, dialysis patients and patients after kidney transplantation should be given high priority in vaccination programs.

8.
J Clin Med ; 10(4)2021 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1128053

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) triggers systemic infection with involvement of the respiratory tract. There are some patients developing haemostatic abnormalities during their infection with a considerably increased risk of death. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients (n = 85) with SARS-CoV-2 infection attending the University Medical Center, Mainz, from 3 March to 15 May 2020 were retrospectively included in this study. Data regarding demography, clinical features, treatment and laboratory parameters were analyzed. Twenty patients were excluded for assessment of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) due to lack of laboratory data. RESULTS: COVID-19 patients (n = 65) were investigated, 19 with uncomplicated, 29 with complicated, and 17 with critical course; nine (13.8%) died. Seven patients showed overt DIC according to the ISTH criteria. The fibrinogen levels dropped significantly in these patients, although not below 100 mg/dl. Hallmarks of TMA, such as thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, were not detected in any of our COVID-19 patients. ADAMTS13 activity was mildly to moderately reduced in 4/22 patients, all having strongly elevated procalcitonin levels. CONCLUSION: DIC occurred in 7/65 COVID-19 patients but fibrinogen and platelet consumption were compensated in almost all. ADAMTS13 assays excluded TTP and hallmarks of classic TMA were absent in all investigated patients. We hypothesize that the lacking erythrocyte fragmentation and only mild platelet consumption in severe COVID-19 are due to a microangiopathy predominantly localized to the alveolar microcirculation with a low blood pressure gradient.

9.
JHEP Rep ; 3(3): 100260, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096063

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems and it may have heavily impacted patients with liver cancer (LC). Herein, we evaluated whether the schedule of LC screening or procedures has been interrupted or delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: An international survey evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical practice and clinical trials from March 2020 to June 2020, as the first phase of a multicentre, international, and observational project. The focus was on patients with hepatocellular carcinoma or intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, cared for around the world during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. RESULTS: Ninety-one centres expressed interest to participate and 76 were included in the analysis, from Europe, South America, North America, Asia, and Africa (73.7%, 17.1%, 5.3%, 2.6%, and 1.3% per continent, respectively). Eighty-seven percent of the centres modified their clinical practice: 40.8% the diagnostic procedures, 80.9% the screening programme, 50% cancelled curative and/or palliative treatments for LC, and 41.7% modified the liver transplantation programme. Forty-five out of 69 (65.2%) centres in which clinical trials were running modified their treatments in that setting, but 58.1% were able to recruit new patients. The phone call service was modified in 51.4% of centres which had this service before the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 19/37). CONCLUSIONS: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on the routine care of patients with liver cancer. Modifications in screening, diagnostic, and treatment algorithms may have significantly impaired the outcome of patients. Ongoing data collection and future analyses will report the benefits and disadvantages of the strategies implemented, aiding future decision-making. LAY SUMMARY: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems globally. Herein, we assessed the impact of the first wave pandemic on patients with liver cancer and found that routine care for these patients has been majorly disrupted, which could have a significant impact on outcomes.

10.
Journal of Clinical Medicine ; 10(4):671, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1077159

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) triggers systemic infection with involvement of the respiratory tract. There are some patients developing haemostatic abnormalities during their infection with a considerably increased risk of death. Materials and Methods: Patients (n = 85) with SARS-CoV-2 infection attending the University Medical Center, Mainz, from 3 March to 15 May 2020 were retrospectively included in this study. Data regarding demography, clinical features, treatment and laboratory parameters were analyzed. Twenty patients were excluded for assessment of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) due to lack of laboratory data. Results: COVID-19 patients (n = 65) were investigated, 19 with uncomplicated, 29 with complicated, and 17 with critical course;nine (13.8%) died. Seven patients showed overt DIC according to the ISTH criteria. The fibrinogen levels dropped significantly in these patients, although not below 100 mg/dl. Hallmarks of TMA, such as thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, were not detected in any of our COVID-19 patients. ADAMTS13 activity was mildly to moderately reduced in 4/22 patients, all having strongly elevated procalcitonin levels. Conclusion: DIC occurred in 7/65 COVID-19 patients but fibrinogen and platelet consumption were compensated in almost all. ADAMTS13 assays excluded TTP and hallmarks of classic TMA were absent in all investigated patients. We hypothesize that the lacking erythrocyte fragmentation and only mild platelet consumption in severe COVID-19 are due to a microangiopathy predominantly localized to the alveolar microcirculation with a low blood pressure gradient.

11.
J Investig Med ; 68(6): 1199-1202, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-638228

ABSTRACT

Predictive factors for adverse outcomes in patients with COVID-19 are urgently needed. Data related to the applicability of the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) for risk stratification in patients with COVID-19 are currently lacking. We investigated the ability of CFS to predict need for mechanical ventilation and the duration of hospital stays in European patients with COVID-19. In total, 42 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection admitted to the University Medical Center Mainz between March 3 and April 15 2020 were included into this validation study and data were retrospectively analyzed. CFS was assessed at admission in all patients. Patients were followed for need for mechanical ventilation and time to hospital discharge. At admission, the median CFS was 3 (range: 1-7) and 14 (33.3%) patients were considered as at least pre-frail (CFS >3). 24 (57.1%) patients were discharged from hospital after a median time of 7 days (IQR 4-8). 12 (28.6%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and required mechanical ventilation. In multivariable Cox regression analyses, higher CFS scores (HR 1.659, 95% CI 1.090 to 2.525, p=0.018) were an independent predictor for a higher risk of mechanical ventilation after adjusting for age, Charlson Comorbidity Index and quick sepsis-related organ failure score. Additionally, lower CFS scores (HR 0.554, 95% CI 0.312 to 0.983, p=0.043) were associated with earlier discharge from hospital. In conclusion, this report demonstrates the usefulness of the CFS for risk stratification at hospital admission in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Frailty , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Risk Assessment/methods , Severity of Illness Index , Age Factors , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Germany , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
12.
United European Gastroenterol J ; 8(7): 814-819, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617210

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reports of liver injury in patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are emerging from China and the USA. A wide variety of liver function test abnormalities and few cases of severe liver failure have been reported. No data on the hepatic phenotype from Europe are available at current. METHODS: We report a case series of 44 consecutive patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Germany. RESULTS: At the time of admission, aspartate aminotransferase greater than the upper limit of normal was present in 70%, while alanine aminotransferase was elevated in 15.8%. Markers of cholestatic liver injury were altered only in a minority of patients. During hospitalization, 31% and 22% experienced increasing aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, respectively, when transaminases were normal at admission. Severe liver injury defined by 3×> upper limit of normal was observed in 9.1% over a mean time of 10.5 days. Importantly, patients exhibited cytotoxicity including lactate dehydrogenase and creatinine kinase elevations, but no signs of relevant liver function impairment. CONCLUSION: In summary, in a case series of hospitalized patients in Germany, cytotoxicity in the absence of severe liver dysfunction at admission and only few cases suggestive of severe liver injury during hospital were observed.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Liver Failure, Acute/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alanine Transaminase/blood , Aspartate Aminotransferases/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/blood , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/diagnosis , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury/etiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Liver/drug effects , Liver/virology , Liver Failure, Acute/blood , Liver Failure, Acute/diagnosis , Liver Failure, Acute/virology , Liver Function Tests/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
13.
Int J Infect Dis ; 96: 431-439, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276112

ABSTRACT

As of May 17th 2020, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused 307,395 deaths worldwide, out of 3,917,366 cases reported to the World Health Organization. No specific treatments for reducing mortality or morbidity are yet available. Deaths from COVID-19 will continue to rise globally until effective and appropriate treatments and/or vaccines are found. In search of effective treatments, the global medical, scientific, pharma and funding communities have rapidly initiated over 500 COVID-19 clinical trials on a range of antiviral drug regimens and repurposed drugs in various combinations. A paradigm shift is underway from the current focus of drug development targeting the pathogen, to advancing cellular Host-Directed Therapies (HDTs) for tackling the aberrant host immune and inflammatory responses which underlie the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and high COVID-19 mortality rates. We focus this editorial specifically on the background to, and the rationale for, the use and evaluation of mesenchymal stromal (Stem) cells (MSCs) in treatment trials of patients with severe COVID-19 disease. Currently, the ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) report a combined 28 trials exploring the potential of MSCs or their products for treatment of COVID-19. MSCs should also be trialed for treatment of other circulating WHO priority Blueprint pathogens such as MERS-CoV which causes upto 34% mortality rates. It's about time funding agencies invested more into development MSCs per se, and also for a range of other HDTs, in combination with other therapeutic interventions. MSC therapy could turn out to be an important contribution to bringing an end to the high COVID-19 death rates and preventing long-term functional disability in those who survive disease.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Humans , Morbidity , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
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