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Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(10): 2561-2575, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521396


OBJECTIVE: To compare coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acute kidney injury (AKI) to sepsis-AKI (S-AKI). The morphology and transcriptomic and proteomic characteristics of autopsy kidneys were analyzed. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Individuals 18 years of age and older who died from COVID-19 and had an autopsy performed at Mayo Clinic between April 2020 to October 2020 were included. Morphological evaluation of the kidneys of 17 individuals with COVID-19 was performed. In a subset of seven COVID-19 cases with postmortem interval of less than or equal to 20 hours, ultrastructural and molecular characteristics (targeted transcriptome and proteomics analyses of tubulointerstitium) were evaluated. Molecular characteristics were compared with archived cases of S-AKI and nonsepsis causes of AKI. RESULTS: The spectrum of COVID-19 renal pathology included macrophage-dominant microvascular inflammation (glomerulitis and peritubular capillaritis), vascular dysfunction (peritubular capillary congestion and endothelial injury), and tubular injury with ultrastructural evidence of mitochondrial damage. Investigation of the spatial architecture using a novel imaging mass cytometry revealed enrichment of CD3+CD4+ T cells in close proximity to antigen-presenting cells, and macrophage-enriched glomerular and interstitial infiltrates, suggesting an innate and adaptive immune tissue response. Coronavirus disease 2019 AKI and S-AKI, as compared to nonseptic AKI, had an enrichment of transcriptional pathways involved in inflammation (apoptosis, autophagy, major histocompatibility complex class I and II, and type 1 T helper cell differentiation). Proteomic pathway analysis showed that COVID-19 AKI and to a lesser extent S-AKI were enriched in necroptosis and sirtuin-signaling pathways, both involved in regulatory response to inflammation. Upregulation of the ceramide-signaling pathway and downregulation of oxidative phosphorylation in COVID-19 AKI were noted. CONCLUSION: This data highlights the similarities between S-AKI and COVID-19 AKI and suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction may play a pivotal role in COVID-19 AKI. This data may allow the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

Acute Kidney Injury/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Kidney/pathology , Sepsis/pathology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , Adult , Autopsy , Humans , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Sepsis/virology
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(1): 11-21, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067935


CONTEXT.­: Respiratory failure appears to be the ultimate mechanism of death in most patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Studies of postmortem COVID-19 lungs largely report diffuse alveolar damage and capillary fibrin thrombi, but we have also observed other patterns. OBJECTIVE.­: To report demographic and radiographic features along with macroscopic, microscopic, and microbiologic postmortem lung findings in patients with COVID-19 infections. DESIGN.­: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection and postmortem examination (March 2020-May 2020) were included. Clinical findings were abstracted from medical records. Lungs were microscopically reviewed independently by 4 thoracic pathologists. Imaging studies were reviewed by a thoracic radiologist. RESULTS.­: Eight patients (7 men, 87.5%; median age, 79 years; range, 69-96 years) died within a median of 17 days (range, 6-100 days) from onset of symptoms. The median lung weight was 1220 g (range, 960-1760 g); consolidations were found in 5 patients (62.5%) and gross thromboemboli were noted in 1 patient (12.5%). Histologically, all patients had acute bronchopneumonia; 6 patients (75%) also had diffuse alveolar damage. Two patients (25%) had aspiration pneumonia in addition. Thromboemboli, usually scattered and rare, were identified in 5 patients (62.5%) in small vessels and in 2 of these patients also in pulmonary arteries. Four patients (50%) had perivascular chronic inflammation. Postmortem bacterial lung cultures were positive in 4 patients (50%). Imaging studies (available in 4 patients) were typical (n = 2, 50%), indeterminate (n = 1, 25%), or negative (n = 1, 25%) for COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSIONS.­: Our study shows that patients infected with COVID-19 not only have diffuse alveolar damage but also commonly have acute bronchopneumonia and aspiration pneumonia. These findings are important for management of these patients.

COVID-19/pathology , Lung/pathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , Bronchopneumonia/pathology , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/mortality , Fatal Outcome , Female , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Minnesota/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Aspiration/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Circulation ; 143(3): 230-243, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039948


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its resultant clinical presentation, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an emergent cause of mortality worldwide. Cardiac complications secondary to this infection are common; however, the underlying mechanisms of such remain unclear. A detailed cardiac evaluation of a series of individuals with COVID-19 undergoing postmortem evaluation is provided, with 4 aims: (1) describe the pathological spectrum of the myocardium; (2) compare with an alternate viral illness; (3) investigate angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression; and (4) provide the first description of the cardiac findings in patients with cleared infection. METHODS: Study cases were identified from institutional files and included COVID-19 (n=15: 12 active, 3 cleared), influenza A/B (n=6), and nonvirally mediated deaths (n=6). Salient information was abstracted from the medical record. Light microscopic findings were recorded. An angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 immunohistochemical H-score was compared across cases. Viral detection encompassed SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry, ultrastructural examination, and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Male sex was more common in the COVID-19 group (P=0.05). Nonocclusive fibrin microthrombi (without ischemic injury) were identified in 16 cases (12 COVID-19, 2 influenza, and 2 controls) and were more common in the active COVID-19 cohort (P=0.006). Four active COVID-19 cases showed focal myocarditis, whereas 1 case of cleared COVID-19 showed extensive disease. Arteriolar angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 endothelial expression was lower in COVID-19 cases than in controls (P=0.004). Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 myocardial expression did not differ by disease category, sex, age, or number of patient comorbidities (P=0.69, P=1.00, P=0.46, P=0.65, respectively). SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry showed nonspecific staining, whereas ultrastructural examination and droplet digital polymerase chain reaction were negative for viral presence. Four patients (26.7%) with COVID-19 had underlying cardiac amyloidosis. Cases with cleared infection had variable presentations. CONCLUSIONS: This detailed histopathologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular cardiac series showed no definitive evidence of direct myocardial infection. COVID-19 cases frequently have cardiac fibrin microthrombi, without universal acute ischemic injury. Moreover, myocarditis is present in 33.3% of patients with active and cleared COVID-19 but is usually limited in extent. Histological features of resolved infection are variable. Cardiac amyloidosis may be an additional risk factor for severe disease.

COVID-19 , Coronary Thrombosis , Fibrin/metabolism , Myocardium , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronary Thrombosis/metabolism , Coronary Thrombosis/mortality , Coronary Thrombosis/pathology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/metabolism , Myocardium/pathology