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J Infect ; 82(6): 260-268, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193395


OBJECTIVES: Diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 are important for epidemiology, clinical management, and infection control. Limitations of oro-nasopharyngeal real-time PCR sensitivity have been described based on comparisons of single tests with repeated sampling. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 PCR clinical sensitivity using a clinical and radiological reference standard. METHODS: Between March-May 2020, 2060 patients underwent thoracic imaging and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. Imaging was independently double- or triple-reported (if discordance) by blinded radiologists according to radiological criteria for COVID-19. We excluded asymptomatic patients and those with alternative diagnoses that could explain imaging findings. Associations with PCR-positivity were assessed with binomial logistic regression. RESULTS: 901 patients had possible/probable imaging features and clinical symptoms of COVID-19 and 429 patients met the clinical and radiological reference case definition. SARS-CoV-2 PCR sensitivity was 68% (95% confidence interval 64-73), was highest 7-8 days after symptom onset (78% (68-88)) and was lower among current smokers (adjusted odds ratio 0.23 (0.12-0.42) p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with clinical and imaging features of COVID-19, PCR test sensitivity was 68%, and was lower among smokers; a finding that could explain observations of lower disease incidence and that warrants further validation. PCR tests should be interpreted considering imaging, symptom duration and smoking status.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral , Reference Standards , Sensitivity and Specificity
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 7(1)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634563


The aim of this case series is to describe and evaluate our experience of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat type 1 respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19. CPAP was delivered in negative pressure rooms in the newly repurposed infectious disease unit. We report a cohort of 24 patients with type 1 respiratory failure and COVID-19 admitted to the Royal Liverpool Hospital between 1 April and 30 April 2020. Overall, our results were positive; we were able to safely administer CPAP outside the walls of a critical care or high dependency unit environment and over half of patients (58%) avoided mechanical ventilation and a total of 19 out of 24 (79%) have survived and been discharged from our care.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/methods , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Care Units , Respiratory Insufficiency , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Pathways/trends , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Records/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Oxygen Consumption , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiratory Care Units/methods , Respiratory Care Units/organization & administration , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/mortality , Respiratory Insufficiency/physiopathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Analysis , United Kingdom/epidemiology
Clin Infect Pract ; 7: 100033, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343694


BACKGROUND: The potential risk of cytokine storm in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been described [1]; we write to share our experience treating a 17-year-old male with haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) secondary to COVID-19 infection. CASE REPORT: This patient presented with cough, sore throat, anorexia and pyrexia. On examination, he had gross cervical lymphadenopathy and palpable splenomegaly. Nose and throat swab for SARS-CoV-2 was positive and blood tests revealed pancytopaenia with very high ferritin, triglyceride and d-dimer levels. The patient's H-Score [2] was calculated at 220, suggesting probability of HLH of 93-96%. Considering Russell and colleagues' [3] comments about potential harm of corticosteroid use in patients with COVID-19 infection, the patient was commenced on treatment with the selective IL-1 receptor antagonist drug, Anakinra, and a two-day course of intravenous immunoglobulin. RESULTS: The patient responded rapidly to treatment, becoming apyrexial after 24 h. His lymph nodes and spleen began to normalise after the first 48 h, at which time point the ferritin also started to decrease. He was discharged after 11 days feeling fit and well. CONCLUSION: This case certainly illustrates the importance of hyperinflammation syndromes in COVID-19. It also raises the question - is the severe pneumonitis seen in patients with COVID-19 an immunological phenomenon? We know that the viral load of patients with COVID-19 seems to peak in the early stages of illness [4,5]; however, patients deteriorate later in the disease course, at around days 10-14. This patient, who had risk factors for deterioration (male, pancytopaenic), did not develop an oxygen requirement and clinically and biochemically improved rapidly on Anakinra with no adverse events. We might suggest Anakinra to the scientific community as a treatment option in COVID-19 infection.