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1.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis ; 1869(2): 166592, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239046

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 remains an acute threat to human health, endangering hospital capacities worldwide. Previous studies have aimed at informing pathophysiologic understanding and identification of disease indicators for risk assessment, monitoring, and therapeutic guidance. While findings start to emerge in the general population, observations in high-risk patients with complex pre-existing conditions are limited. We addressed the gap of existing knowledge with regard to a differentiated understanding of disease dynamics in SARS-CoV-2 infection while specifically considering disease stage and severity. We biomedically characterized quantitative proteomics in a hospitalized cohort of COVID-19 patients with mild to severe symptoms suffering from different (co)-morbidities in comparison to both healthy individuals and patients with non-COVID related inflammation. Deep clinical phenotyping enabled the identification of individual disease trajectories in COVID-19 patients. By the use of the individualized disease phase assignment, proteome analysis revealed a severity dependent general type-2-centered host response side-by-side with a disease specific antiviral immune reaction in early disease. The identification of phenomena such as neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and a pro-coagulatory response characterizing severe disease was successfully validated in a second cohort. Together with the regulation of proteins related to SARS-CoV-2-specific symptoms identified by proteome screening, we not only confirmed results from previous studies but provide novel information for biomarker and therapy development.

2.
Methods Inf Med ; 2023 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237390

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As a national effort to better understand the current pandemic, three cohorts collect sociodemographic and clinical data from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients from different target populations within the German National Pandemic Cohort Network (NAPKON). Furthermore, the German Corona Consensus Dataset (GECCO) was introduced as a harmonized basic information model for COVID-19 patients in clinical routine. To compare the cohort data with other GECCO-based studies, data items are mapped to GECCO. As mapping from one information model to another is complex, an additional consistency evaluation of the mapped items is recommended to detect possible mapping issues or source data inconsistencies. OBJECTIVES: The goal of this work is to assure high consistency of research data mapped to the GECCO data model. In particular, it aims at identifying contradictions within interdependent GECCO data items of the German national COVID-19 cohorts to allow investigation of possible reasons for identified contradictions. We furthermore aim at enabling other researchers to easily perform data quality evaluation on GECCO-based datasets and adapt to similar data models. METHODS: All suitable data items from each of the three NAPKON cohorts are mapped to the GECCO items. A consistency assessment tool (dqGecco) is implemented, following the design of an existing quality assessment framework, retaining their-defined consistency taxonomies, including logical and empirical contradictions. Results of the assessment are verified independently on the primary data source. RESULTS: Our consistency assessment tool helped in correcting the mapping procedure and reveals remaining contradictory value combinations within COVID-19 symptoms, vital signs, and COVID-19 severity. Consistency rates differ between the different indicators and cohorts ranging from 95.84% up to 100%. CONCLUSION: An efficient and portable tool capable of discovering inconsistencies in the COVID-19 domain has been developed and applied to three different cohorts. As the GECCO dataset is employed in different platforms and studies, the tool can be directly applied there or adapted to similar information models.

3.
Sci Data ; 9(1): 776, 2022 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185972

ABSTRACT

Anonymization has the potential to foster the sharing of medical data. State-of-the-art methods use mathematical models to modify data to reduce privacy risks. However, the degree of protection must be balanced against the impact on statistical properties. We studied an extreme case of this trade-off: the statistical validity of an open medical dataset based on the German National Pandemic Cohort Network (NAPKON), which was prepared for publication using a strong anonymization procedure. Descriptive statistics and results of regression analyses were compared before and after anonymization of multiple variants of the original dataset. Despite significant differences in value distributions, the statistical bias was found to be small in all cases. In the regression analyses, the median absolute deviations of the estimated adjusted odds ratios for different sample sizes ranged from 0.01 [minimum = 0, maximum = 0.58] to 0.52 [minimum = 0.25, maximum = 0.91]. Disproportionate impact on the statistical properties of data is a common argument against the use of anonymization. Our analysis demonstrates that anonymization can actually preserve validity of statistical results in relatively low-dimensional data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Bias , Data Anonymization , Models, Theoretical , Privacy , Data Interpretation, Statistical , Datasets as Topic
4.
Thyroid ; 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2134756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 has initially been known as a respiratory disease but in the course of the pandemic the understanding has emerged that severity is due to fatal inflammatory responses apart of lung injury. In this context, endocrine disorders such as thyroiditis as well as pituitary dysfunction in addition to non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTI) have been described. Furthermore, Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the SARS-CoV-2 cell receptor, has been detected in most endocrine tissues, including the thyroid gland. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate histopathologic changes and compare thyroidal ACE2 protein expression in thyroid tissue from patients that died from severe COVID-19 with thyroid tissue from patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection in a retrospective case series. Furthermore, to assess and compare alterations in thyroid function tests (TFTs) between patients with or without SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as association of TFT with the severity of the disease in a prospective cohort study. METHODS: Thyroid tissue of deceased COVID-19 patients (n=23) were analyzed for histopathology and ACE2 expression by immunohistochemical staining. One hundred and fifty-three patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated regarding TFT and divided into a severe (intubation, intensive care treatment) and an intermediate group. RESULTS: Thyroidal ACE2 expression was detected in 87% of the deceased COVID-19 patients. Normal thyroid tissue from patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection showed no ACE2 protein expression. Half of the severely ill COVID-19 patients had low free triiodothyronine (fT3) levels. Combination of low fT3 and TSH was associated significantly with deadly disease. CONCLUSION: The high percentage of positive ACE2 immunostaining in deceased patients compared to normal thyroid tissue of patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection suggests involvement of the thyroid in COVID-19, although further research will have to show the pathogenic role of thyroidal ACE2 in COVID-19. Abnormal fT3 and a TSH of ≤0.5 mU/L was associated with a fatal outcome in our severely ill SARS-CoV-2 patient cohort. Therefore, assessment of TFT is crucial in the treatment of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

5.
Eur J Immunol ; 2022 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2127683

ABSTRACT

Dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment is a feature of severe disease in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Here, we investigated the response of circulating dendritic cell (DC) and monocyte subpopulations in SARS-CoV-2 infected outpatients with mild disease and compared it to the response of healthy individuals to yellow fever vaccine virus YF17D as a model of a well-coordinated response to viral infection. In SARS-CoV-2-infected outpatients circulating DCs were persistently reduced for several weeks whereas after YF17D vaccination DC numbers were decreased temporarily and rapidly replenished by increased proliferation until 14 days after vaccination. The majority of COVID-19 outpatients showed high expression of CD86 and PD-L1 in monocytes and DCs early on, resembling the dynamic after YF17D vaccination. In a subgroup of patients low CD86 and high PD-L1 expression were detected in monocytes and DCs coinciding with symptoms, higher age and lower lymphocyte counts. This phenotype was similar to that observed in severely ill COVID-19 patients, but less pronounced. Thus, prolonged reduction and dysregulated activation of blood DCs and monocytes were seen in a subgroup of symptomatic non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients while a transient coordinated activation was characteristic for the majority of patients with mild COVID-19 and the response to YF17D vaccination. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

6.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105685

ABSTRACT

A fraction of COVID-19 patients progress to a severe disease manifestation with respiratory failure and the necessity of mechanical ventilation. Identifying patients at risk is critical for optimised care and early therapeutic interventions. We investigated the dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shedding relative to disease severity.We analysed nasopharyngeal and tracheal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in 92 patients with diagnosed COVID-19. Upon admission, standardised nasopharyngeal swab or sputum samples were collected. If patients were mechanically ventilated, endotracheal aspirate samples were additionally obtained. Viral shedding was quantified by real-time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.45% (41 out of 92) of COVID-19 patients had a severe disease course with the need for mechanical ventilation (severe group). At week 1, the initial viral shedding determined from nasopharyngeal swabs showed no significant difference between nonsevere and severe cases. At week 2, a difference could be observed as the viral shedding remained elevated in severely ill patients. A time-course of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and procalcitonin revealed an even more protracted inflammatory response following the delayed drop of virus shedding load in severely ill patients. A significant proportion (47.8%) of patients showed evidence of prolonged viral shedding (>17 days), which was associated with severe disease courses (73.2%).We report that viral shedding does not differ significantly between severe and nonsevere COVID-19 cases upon admission to the hospital. Elevated SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the second week of hospitalisation, a systemic inflammatory reaction peaking between the second and third week, and prolonged viral shedding are associated with a more severe disease course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Shedding
7.
Infection ; 49(3): 491-500, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1053123

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: SARS-COV-2 infection can develop into a multi-organ disease. Although pathophysiological mechanisms of COVID-19-associated myocardial injury have been studied throughout the pandemic course in 2019, its morphological characterisation is still unclear. With this study, we aimed to characterise echocardiographic patterns of ventricular function in patients with COVID-19-associated myocardial injury. METHODS: We prospectively assessed 32 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and presence or absence of elevated high sensitive troponin T (hsTNT+ vs. hsTNT-) by comprehensive three-dimensional (3D) and strain echocardiography. RESULTS: A minority (34.3%) of patients had normal ventricular function, whereas 65.7% had left and/or right ventricular dysfunction defined by impaired left and/or right ventricular ejection fraction and strain measurements. Concomitant biventricular dysfunction was common in hsTNT+ patients. We observed impaired left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS) in patients with myocardial injury (-13.9% vs. -17.7% for hsTNT+ vs. hsTNT-, p = 0.005) but preserved LV ejection fraction (52% vs. 59%, p = 0.074). Further, in these patients, right ventricular (RV) systolic function was impaired with lower RV ejection fraction (40% vs. 49%, p = 0.001) and reduced RV free wall strain (-18.5% vs. -28.3%, p = 0.003). Myocardial dysfunction partially recovered in hsTNT + patients after 52 days of follow-up. In particular, LV-GLS and RV-FWS significantly improved from baseline to follow-up (LV-GLS: -13.9% to -16.5%, p = 0.013; RV-FWS: -18.5% to -22.3%, p = 0.037). CONCLUSION: In patients with COVID-19-associated myocardial injury, comprehensive 3D and strain echocardiography revealed LV dysfunction by GLS and RV dysfunction, which partially resolved at 2-month follow-up. TRIAL REGISTRATION: COVID-19 Registry of the LMU University Hospital Munich (CORKUM), WHO trial ID DRKS00021225.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Ventricular Dysfunction/physiopathology , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Heart Ventricles/diagnostic imaging , Heart Ventricles/pathology , Heart Ventricles/physiopathology , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke Volume , Troponin T/blood , Ventricular Dysfunction/diagnostic imaging , Ventricular Dysfunction/etiology , Ventricular Dysfunction/pathology
8.
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging ; 14(1): e012220, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myocardial injury, defined by elevated troponin levels, is associated with adverse outcome in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The frequency of cardiac injury remains highly uncertain and confounded in current publications; myocarditis is one of several mechanisms that have been proposed. METHODS: We prospectively assessed patients with myocardial injury hospitalized for COVID-19 using transthoracic echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and endomyocardial biopsy. RESULTS: Eighteen patients with COVID-19 and myocardial injury were included in this study. Echocardiography revealed normal to mildly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction of 52.5% (46.5%-60.5%) but moderately to severely reduced left ventricular global longitudinal strain of -11.2% (-7.6% to -15.1%). Cardiac magnetic resonance showed any myocardial tissue injury defined by elevated T1, extracellular volume, or late gadolinium enhancement with a nonischemic pattern in 16 patients (83.3%). Seven patients (38.9%) demonstrated myocardial edema in addition to tissue injury fulfilling the Lake-Louise criteria for myocarditis. Combining cardiac magnetic resonance with speckle tracking echocardiography demonstrated functional or morphological cardiac changes in 100% of investigated patients. Endomyocardial biopsy was conducted in 5 patients and revealed enhanced macrophage numbers in all 5 patients in addition to lymphocytic myocarditis in 1 patient. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in any biopsy by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Finally, follow-up measurements of left ventricular global longitudinal strain revealed significant improvement after a median of 52.0 days (-11.2% [-9.2% to -14.7%] versus -15.6% [-12.5% to -19.6%] at follow-up; P=0.041). CONCLUSIONS: In this small cohort of COVID-19 patients with elevated troponin levels, myocardial injury was evidenced by reduced echocardiographic left ventricular strain, myocarditis patterns on cardiac magnetic resonance, and enhanced macrophage numbers but not predominantly lymphocytic myocarditis in endomyocardial biopsies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , Aged , Biopsy , COVID-19/blood , Cohort Studies , Echocardiography/methods , Female , Germany , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Troponin/blood
9.
Circulation ; 142(12): 1176-1189, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696368

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 infection causes severe pneumonia (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), but the mechanisms of subsequent respiratory failure and complicating renal and myocardial involvement are poorly understood. In addition, a systemic prothrombotic phenotype has been reported in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A total of 62 subjects were included in our study (n=38 patients with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 and n=24 non-COVID-19 controls). We performed histopathologic assessment of autopsy cases, surface marker-based phenotyping of neutrophils and platelets, and functional assays for platelet, neutrophil functions, and coagulation tests, as well. RESULTS: We provide evidence that organ involvement and prothrombotic features in COVID-19 are linked by immunothrombosis. We show that, in COVID-19, inflammatory microvascular thrombi are present in the lung, kidney, and heart, containing neutrophil extracellular traps associated with platelets and fibrin. Patients with COVID-19 also present with neutrophil-platelet aggregates and a distinct neutrophil and platelet activation pattern in blood, which changes with disease severity. Whereas cases of intermediate severity show an exhausted platelet and hyporeactive neutrophil phenotype, patients severely affected with COVID-19 are characterized by excessive platelet and neutrophil activation in comparison with healthy controls and non-COVID-19 pneumonia. Dysregulated immunothrombosis in severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 pneumonia is linked to both acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic hypercoagulability. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data point to immunothrombotic dysregulation as a key marker of disease severity in COVID-19. Further work is necessary to determine the role of immunothrombosis in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Coagulation Disorders/diagnosis , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Platelets/cytology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Humans , Kidney/pathology , Lung/pathology , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Pandemics , Phenotype , Platelet Activation , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/diagnosis
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