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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16039, 2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345587


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) induces lung injury of varying severity, potentially causing severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Pulmonary injury patterns in COVID-19 patients differ from those in patients with other causes of ARDS. We aimed to explore the frequency and pathogenesis of cavitary lung lesions in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Retrospective study in 39 critically ill adult patients hospitalized with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 including lung injury of varying severity in a tertiary care referral center during March and May 2020, Berlin/Germany. We observed lung cavitations in an unusually large proportion of 22/39 (56%) COVID-19 patients treated on intensive care units (ICU), including 3/5 patients without mechanical ventilation. Median interquartile range (IQR) time between onset of symptoms and ICU admission was 11.5 (6.25-17.75) days. In 15 patients, lung cavitations were already present on the first CT scan, performed after ICU admission; in seven patients they developed during a subsequent median (IQR) observation period of 48 (35-58) days. In seven patients we found at least one cavitation with a diameter > 2 cm (maximum 10 cm). Patients who developed cavitations were older and had a higher body mass index. Autopsy findings in three patients revealed that the cavitations reflected lung infarcts undergoing liquefaction, secondary to thrombotic pulmonary artery branch occlusions. Lung cavitations appear to be a frequent complication of severely ill COVID-19 patients, probably related to the prothrombotic state associated with COVID-19.

COVID-19/pathology , Lung/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Embolism/etiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
Kidney Int Rep ; 6(4): 905-915, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169160


Introduction: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an important complication in COVID-19, but its precise etiology has not fully been elucidated. Insights into AKI mechanisms may be provided by analyzing the temporal associations of clinical parameters reflecting disease processes and AKI development. Methods: We performed an observational cohort study of 223 consecutive COVID-19 patients treated at 3 sites of a tertiary care referral center to describe the evolvement of severe AKI (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes stage 3) and identify conditions promoting its development. Descriptive statistics and explanatory multivariable Cox regression modeling with clinical parameters as time-varying covariates were used to identify risk factors of severe AKI. Results: Severe AKI developed in 70 of 223 patients (31%) with COVID-19, of which 95.7% required kidney replacement therapy. Patients with severe AKI were older, predominantly male, had more comorbidities, and displayed excess mortality. Severe AKI occurred exclusively in intensive care unit patients, and 97.3% of the patients developing severe AKI had respiratory failure. Mechanical ventilation, vasopressor therapy, and inflammatory markers (serum procalcitonin levels and leucocyte count) were independent time-varying risk factors of severe AKI. Increasing inflammatory markers displayed a close temporal association with the development of severe AKI. Sensitivity analysis on risk factors of AKI stage 2 and 3 combined confirmed these findings. Conclusion: Severe AKI in COVID-19 was tightly coupled with critical illness and systemic inflammation and was not observed in milder disease courses. These findings suggest that traditional systemic AKI mechanisms rather than kidney-specific processes contribute to severe AKI in COVID-19.

Crit Care ; 24(1): 676, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962957


BACKGROUND: There is emerging evidence for enhanced blood coagulation in coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients, with thromboembolic complications contributing to morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms underlying this prothrombotic state remain enigmatic. Further data to guide anticoagulation strategies are urgently required. METHODS: We used viscoelastic rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) in a single-center cohort of 40 critically ill COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: Clear signs of a hypercoagulable state due to severe hypofibrinolysis were found. Maximum lysis, especially following stimulation of the extrinsic coagulation system, was inversely associated with an enhanced risk of thromboembolic complications. Combining values for maximum lysis with D-dimer concentrations revealed high sensitivity and specificity of thromboembolic risk prediction. CONCLUSIONS: The study identifies a reduction in fibrinolysis as an important mechanism in COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. The combination of ROTEM and D-dimer concentrations may prove valuable in identifying patients requiring higher intensity anticoagulation.

COVID-19/complications , Fibrinolysis/physiology , Thrombelastography/methods , Thromboembolism/diagnosis , Blood Coagulation/physiology , Blood Coagulation Tests/methods , Blood Coagulation Tests/standards , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Systems/standards , Point-of-Care Systems/statistics & numerical data , Thromboembolism/diagnostic imaging , Viscoelastic Substances/analysis , Viscoelastic Substances/therapeutic use