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1.
Nutrients ; 14(1)2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580548

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the new coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) highlighted the need for appropriate feeding practices among critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). This study aimed to describe feeding practices of intubated COVID-19 patients during their second week of hospitalization in the First Department of Critical Care Medicine, Evaggelismos General Hospital, and evaluate potential associations with all cause 30-day mortality, length of hospital stay, and duration of mechanical ventilation. We enrolled adult intubated COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU between September 2020 and July 2021 and prospectively monitored until their hospital discharge. Of the 162 patients analyzed (52.8% men, 51.6% overweight/obese, mean age 63.2 ± 11.9 years), 27.2% of patients used parenteral nutrition, while the rest were fed enterally. By 30 days, 34.2% of the patients in the parenteral group had died compared to 32.7% of the patients in the enteral group (relative risk (RR) for the group receiving enteral nutrition = 0.97, 95% confidence interval = 0.88-1.06, p = 0.120). Those in the enteral group demonstrated a lower duration of hospital stay (RR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.85-0.97, p = 0.036) as well as mechanical ventilation support (RR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.89-0.99, p = 0.043). Enteral feeding during second week of ICU hospitalization may be associated with a shorter duration of hospitalization and stay in mechanical ventilation support among critically ill intubated patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Enteral Nutrition/statistics & numerical data , Parenteral Nutrition/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/mortality , Critical Illness , Enteral Nutrition/methods , Enteral Nutrition/mortality , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Parenteral Nutrition/methods , Parenteral Nutrition/mortality , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
2.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(7)2021 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526808

ABSTRACT

Endothelial dysfunction, coagulation and inflammation biomarkers are increasingly emerging as prognostic markers of poor outcomes and mortality in severe and critical COVID-19. However, the effect of dexamethasone has not been investigated on these biomarkers. Hence, we studied potential prognostic biomarkers of mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients who had either received or not dexamethasone. Biomarker serum levels were measured on intensive care unit (ICU) admission (within 24 h) in 37 dexamethasone-free and 29 COVID-19 patients who had received the first dose (6 mg) of dexamethasone. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to assess their value in ICU mortality prediction, while Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to explore associations between biomarkers and survival. In the dexamethasone-free COVID-19 ICU patients, non-survivors had considerably higher levels of various endothelial, immunothrombotic and inflammatory biomarkers. In the cohort who had received one dexamethasone dose, non-survivors had higher ICU admission levels of only soluble (s) vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) and presepsin. As determined from the generated ROC curves, sVCAM-1, suPAR and presepsin could still be reliable prognostic ICU mortality biomarkers, following dexamethasone administration (0.7 < AUC < 0.9). Moreover, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that patients with higher than the median values for sVCAM-1 or suPAR exhibited a greater mortality risk than patients with lower values (Log-Rank test, p < 0.01). In our single-center study, sVCAM-1, suPAR and presepsin appear to be valuable prognostic biomarkers in assessing ICU mortality risk in COVID-19 patients, even following dexamethasone administration.

3.
Crit Care Med ; 49(12): 2131-2136, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522360

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Critical illness is characterized by increased serum cortisol concentrations and bioavailability resulting from the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which constitutes an essential part of the stress response. The actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by a ubiquitous intracellular receptor protein, the glucocorticoid receptor. So far, data on coronavirus disease 2019 and glucocorticoid receptor alpha expression are lacking. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: One academic multidisciplinary ICU. SUBJECTS: Twenty-six adult coronavirus disease 2019 patients; 33 adult noncoronavirus disease 2019 patients, matched for age, sex, and disease severity, constituted the control group. All patients were steroid-free. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Glucocorticoid receptor alpha, glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper expression, and serum cortisol were measured on ICU admission. In coronavirus disease 2019 patients, glucocorticoid receptor alpha and glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper messenger RNA expression were upregulated (4.7-fold, p < 0.01 and 14-fold, p < 0.0001, respectively), and cortisol was higher (20.3 vs 14.3 µg/dL, p < 0.01) compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: ICU coronavirus disease 2019 patients showed upregulated glucocorticoid receptor alpha and glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper expression, along with cortisol levels, compared with ICU noncoronavirus disease 2019 patients. Thus, on ICU admission, critical coronavirus disease 2019 appears to be associated with hypercortisolemia, and increased synthesis of glucocorticoid receptor alpha and induced proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Hydrocortisone/blood , Leucine Zippers/physiology , Receptors, Glucocorticoid/biosynthesis , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , Aged , Comorbidity , Critical Illness , Female , Greece , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Respirol Case Rep ; 9(12): e0858, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1508935

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma (CP) transfusion has been utilized as a salvage therapy in immunocompromised patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. We describe the case of a 45-year-old immunocompromised patient, who received CP, in order to control multiple COVID-19 flares and prolonged SARS-CoV-2 viraemia lasting for 2 months after the initial diagnosis.

5.
In Vivo ; 35(6): 3305-3313, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485627

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The study provides a novel prediction model for COVID-19 progression and outcome by the combination of the CD8+: B-cells ratio with neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Immune phenotyping was performed in 120 COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: A decrease in CD8+:B-cell (p<0.0001) and in lymphocyte-to-CRP (LCR) ratio (p<0.0001) was observed in intubated patients versus non-intubated with an increase for CD4+:CD8+ (p<0.01), NLR (p<0.0001) and CRP: Albumin (p<0.001). Receiving operating curve (ROC) analysis predicting requirement for mechanical ventilation revealed the highest AUC for CD8+:B-cells, (AUC=0.795, p<0.001) versus NLR (AUC=0.783, p<0.001), LCR (AUC=0.779, p<0.001), Albumin:CRP (AUC=0.750, p<0.001) and CD4+:CD8+ (AUC=0.779, p<0.001). Combination of the CD8+: B-cell ratio with the NLR increased the AUC (AUC=0.845, p<0.001). The combined ratios correlated with outcome defined as duration of hospital (r=0.435, p<0.001) or ICU stay (r=0.596, p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Combination of the CD8+: B-cell ratio and NLR serves as a useful prognostic tool for COVID-19 patient progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neutrophils , B-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal , Lymphocytes , Prognosis , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
6.
J Epidemiol Glob Health ; 11(4): 338-343, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446308

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Immunoglobulins (Igs) comprise a critical part of the immune response. Little information exists on Ig serum levels in COVID-19 patients. We, therefore, investigated whether hospital admission Igs in patients with mild-to-critical disease are associated with clinical outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective, observational, single-center, cross-sectional study included 126 consecutive non-critically ill and critically ill and COVID-19 patients, in whom IgG, IgM, and IgA were measured on hospital admission. RESULTS: The cohort was divided in survivors and non-survivors, based on in-hospital mortality. Median IgG levels of survivors were significantly higher than non-survivors (p < 0.01). The cohort was subsequently divided in IgG deficient (< 690 mg/dl) and sufficient (≥ 690 mg/dl) patients. IgG-deficient patients had a higher mortality rate (p < 0.01). The multivariate logistic regression model showed that subnormal IgG was significantly associated with increased mortality risk (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In our COVID-19 cohort, admission subnormal IgG levels might be independently associated with reduced survival.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(9)2021 Sep 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438752

ABSTRACT

BNT162b2 has proven to be highly effective, but there is a paucity of data regarding immunogenicity factors and comparison between response to vaccination and natural infection. This study included 871 vaccinated healthcare workers (HCW) and 181 patients with natural infection. Immunogenicity was assessed by measuring anti-SARS-CoV-2 against the RBD domain of the spike protein (anti-RBD). Samples were collected 1-2 weeks after vaccination or 15-59 days post-onset of symptoms. Post-vaccine anti-RBD concentrations were associated with age, gender, vaccination side-effects (VSE) and prior infection (Pr-CoV). Anti-RBD median levels (95%CI) were lower by 2466 (651-5583), 6228 (3254-9203) and 7651 (4479-10,823) AU/mL in 35-44, 45-54, 55-70 yrs, respectively, compared with the 18-34 yrs group. In females, the median levels were higher by 2823 (859-4787), 5024 (3122-6926) in individuals with VSE, and 9971 (5158-14,783) AU/mL in HCWs with Pr-CoV. The ratio of anti-RBD in vaccinated individuals versus those with natural infection varied from 1.0 to 19.4. The high immunogenicity of BNT162b2 is verified, although its sustainability has yet to be elucidated. The use of comparative data from natural infection serological panels, expressing the clinical heterogeneity of natural infection, may facilitate early decisions for candidate vaccines to be evaluated in clinical trials.

8.
Life (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438659

ABSTRACT

The present cross-sectional study consists of a comprehensive analysis of epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients in relation to their immunogenetic profiles. We studied 125 COVID-19 patients comprising different stages of disease severity; non-hospitalized (mild n = 69) and hospitalized (n = 56). Analysis of disease characteristics revealed no major differences between males and females of each group of patients while hospitalized patients were older and presented with comorbidities. A positive allele association was observed for HLA-DRB1*01 in total COVID-19 patients versus healthy controls. Subgrouping of COVID-19 patients in mild and hospitalized further identified a statistically significant increase in HLA-DRB1*01 in mild COVID-19 patients versus controls. The frequency of A*11, A*23, and DRB1*09 alleles was higher, while the frequency of C*12 was lower, in hospitalized patients versus healthy controls albeit with uncorrected statistical significance. The identification of specific allele associations may provide useful future markers for disease susceptibility in order to allow successful clinical management of COVID-19 patients.

9.
Minerva Endocrinol (Torino) ; 2021 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431239

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Low Testosterone (mainly total testosterone; TTe) has been noted in patients with COVID-19. Calculated free testosterone (FTe) and bioavailable testosterone (BavTe) may reflect more accurately this hormone's levels. In this study, we sought to assess TTe, FTe as well as BavTe in male patients with COVID-19. SUBJECTS/METHODS: Sera were collected upon admission from 65 men (10 in the intensive care units [ICU] and 55 in the wards) with polymerase chain reaction - proven COVID-19. A group of age-matched COVID-19-negative men (n=29) hospitalized in general medical wards served as controls. Age, body mass index (BMI) and 28-day mortality were noted. Measurements included TTe, sex-hormone binding globulin, albumin (the latter two for calculating FTe and BavTe) and laboratory markers of inflammation (white blood cell count [WBC], D-Dimers [D-D], lactate dehydrogenease [LDH], ferritin [Fer] and C-reactive protein [CRP]). RESULTS: Profoundly low TTe, FTe and BavTe were noted in most patients, and were associated with disease severity/outcome (being the lowest in COVID-19 patients in the ICU and overall being lower in non-survivors; analysis of covariance p<0.05). Pearson's correlations for logTe, logFTe or logBavTe versus WBC, D-D, LDH, Ferr or CRP were negative, ranging from -0.403 to -0.293 (p=0.009 to 0.014). CONCLUSIONS: TTe, FTe and BavTe are prone to be low in patients with COVID-19, are negatively associated with disease severity and may be considered to have prognostic value.

10.
J Pers Med ; 11(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417166

ABSTRACT

Studies have hypothesized a potential role of the interleukin (IL)-23/17 axis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, to date, levels of IL-23 and 17 have not been compared between critically ill COVID-19 patients and critically ill non-COVID-19 patients. IL-23 and 17 were measured on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) in critically ill COVID-19 (N = 38) and critically ill non-COVID-19 (N = 34) patients with an equal critical illness severity. Critically ill non-COVID-19 patients did not have sepsis or septic shock on ICU admission. None of the enrolled patients had previously received corticosteroids. In our study, circulating IL-17 levels were higher in the COVID-19 patients. More specifically, critically ill COVID-19 patients had levels of 0.78 (0.05-1.8) pg/mL compared to 0.11 (0.05-0.9) pg/mL in the critically ill non-COVID-19 patients (p = 0.04). In contrast, IL-23 levels were comparable between groups. A group of patients hospitalized in the specialized COVID-19 clinic (N = 16) was also used to evaluate IL-17 and IL-23 levels with respect to COVID-19 severity. Non-critically ill COVID-19 patients had undetectable levels of both cytokines. Our results support the notion of inhibiting IL-17 in critical COVID-19 infection.

11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(18)2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409704

ABSTRACT

Autotaxin (ATX; ENPP2) is a secreted lysophospholipase D catalyzing the extracellular production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a pleiotropic signaling phospholipid. Genetic and pharmacologic studies have previously established a pathologic role for ATX and LPA signaling in pulmonary injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. Here, increased ENPP2 mRNA levels were detected in immune cells from nasopharyngeal swab samples of COVID-19 patients, and increased ATX serum levels were found in severe COVID-19 patients. ATX serum levels correlated with the corresponding increased serum levels of IL-6 and endothelial damage biomarkers, suggesting an interplay of the ATX/LPA axis with hyperinflammation and the associated vascular dysfunction in COVID-19. Accordingly, dexamethasone (Dex) treatment of mechanically ventilated patients reduced ATX levels, as shown in two independent cohorts, indicating that the therapeutic benefits of Dex include the suppression of ATX. Moreover, large scale analysis of multiple single cell RNA sequencing datasets revealed the expression landscape of ENPP2 in COVID-19 and further suggested a role for ATX in the homeostasis of dendritic cells, which exhibit both numerical and functional deficits in COVID-19. Therefore, ATX has likely a multifunctional role in COVID-19 pathogenesis, suggesting that its pharmacological targeting might represent an additional therapeutic option, both during and after hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Datasets as Topic , Dendritic Cells/drug effects , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis
12.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(7)2021 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323319

ABSTRACT

A damaged endothelium is an underlying condition of the many complications of COVID-19 patients. The increased mortality risk associated with diseases that have underlying endothelial dysfunction, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), suggests that endothelial (e) nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-derived nitric oxide could be an important defense mechanism. Additionally, intravenous recombinant angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) was recently reported as an effective therapy in severe COVID-19, by blocking viral entry, and thus reducing lung injury. Very few studies exist on the prognostic value of endothelium-related protective molecules in severe COVID-19 disease. To this end, serum levels of eNOS, inducible (i) NOS, adrenomedullin (ADM), soluble (s) ACE2 levels, and serum (s) ACE activity were measured on hospital admission in 89 COVID-19 patients, hospitalized either in a ward or ICU, of whom 68 had ARDS, while 21 did not. In our cohort, the COVID-19-ARDS patients had considerably lower eNOS levels compared to the COVID-19 non-ARDS patients. On the other hand, sACE2 was significantly higher in the ARDS patients. iNOS, ADM and sACE activity did not differ. Our results might support the notion of two distinct defense mechanisms in COVID-19-derived ARDS; eNOS-derived nitric oxide could be one of them, while the dramatic rise in sACE2 may also represent an endogenous mechanism involved in severe COVID-19 complications, such as ARDS. These results could provide insight to therapeutical applications in COVID-19.

13.
Endocr Connect ; 10(6): 646-655, 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304497

ABSTRACT

Objective: Following the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic, reports pointed on a high prevalence of thyroiditis-related thyrotoxicosis. Interpretation of thyroid tests during illness, however, is hampered by changes occurring in the context of non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). In order to elucidate these findings, we studied thyroid function in carefully selected cohorts of COVID-19 positive and negative patients. Design: Cohort observational study. Methods: We measured TSH, FT4, T3 within 24 h of admission in 196 patients without thyroid disease and/or confounding medications. In this study, 102 patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive; 41 admitted in the ICU, 46 in the ward and 15 outpatients. Controls consisted of 94 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients; 39 in the ICU and 55 in the ward. We designated the thyroid hormone patterns as consistent with NTIS, thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism. Results: A NTIS pattern was encountered in 60% of ICU and 36% of ward patients, with similar frequencies between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients (46.0% vs 46.8%, P = NS). A thyrotoxicosis pattern was observed in 14.6% SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients vs 7.7% in ICU negative (P = NS) and, overall in 8.8% of SARS-CoV-2 positive vs 7.4% of negative patients. In these patients, thyroglobulin levels were similar to those with normal thyroid function or NTIS. The hypothyroidism pattern was rare. Conclusions: NTIS pattern is common and relates to the severity of disease rather than SARS-CoV-2 infection. A thyrotoxicosis pattern is less frequently observed with similar frequency between patients with and without COVID-19. It is suggested that thyroid hormone monitoring in COVID-19 should not differ from other critically ill patients.

14.
Metabol Open ; 11: 100106, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300950

ABSTRACT

25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is an important immunomodulator, whose deficiency may aggravate the incidence and outcome of infectious complications in patients admitted to the intensive care unit. The most recognized extra-skeletal action of vitamin D is the regulation of immune function. Host defense against intracellular pathogens depends upon both innate and adaptive immunity. It has been suggested that vitamin D regulates the pro-inflammatory endothelial response to lipopolysaccharide, rendering it a role in the sepsis cascade. Recent studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with worse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), such as more severe disease and higher mortality rates. To this end, clinical trials with vitamin D supplementation are being carried out in an effort to improve COVID-19 outcomes. In this review, we will discuss the role of vitamin D in the immune response, and more specifically its effect on immune cells. Subsequently, we will provide an overview of the studies that have investigated the predictive value of vitamin D in critical illness outcomes, and its therapeutic value as a supplement in critically ill patients. Finally, the emerging role of vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 infection risk, and worse outcomes will be discussed.

15.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 12: 644055, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295630

ABSTRACT

Objective: We aimed to measure insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and growth hormone (GH) in critically and non-critically ill patients with Covid-19 and assess them vis-a-vis clinical and laboratory parameters and prognostic tools. Subjects and Methods: We included patients who were admitted to the wards or the ICU of the largest Covid-19 referral hospital in Greece; patients with non-Covid-19 pneumonia served as controls. Apart from the routine laboratory work-up for Covid-19 we measured GH and IGF1 (and calculated normalized IGF-1 values as standard deviation scores; SDS), after blood sampling upon admission to the wards or the ICU. Results: We studied 209 critically and non-critically ill patients with Covid-19 and 39 control patients. Patients with Covid-19 who were ICU non-survivors were older and presented with a worse hematological/biochemical profile (including white blood cell count, troponin, glucose, aminotransferases and lactate dehydrogenase) compared to ICU survivors or Covid-19 survivors in the wards. Overall, IGF-1 SDS was higher in Covid-19 survivors compared to non-survivors (-0.96 ± 1.89 vs -2.05 ± 2.48, respectively, p=0.030). No significant differences were noted in GH between the groups. Nevertheless, in critically ill patients with Covid-19, the prognostic value of IGF-1 (raw data), IGF-1 (SDS) and GH for survival/non-survival was on a par with that of APACHE II and SOFA (with a marginal difference between GH and SOFA). Conclusion: In conclusion, our findings suggest that there might be an association between low IGF1 (and possibly GH) and poor outcome in patients with Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Illness , Human Growth Hormone/metabolism , Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Survivors/statistics & numerical data
16.
Microorganisms ; 9(4)2021 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178363

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a global pandemic associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Convalescent plasma (CP) infusion is a strategy of potential therapeutic benefit. We conducted a multicenter phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CP in patients with COVID-19, grade 4 or higher. To evaluate the efficacy of CP, a matched propensity score analysis was used comparing the intervention (n = 59) to a control group (n = 59). Sixty patients received CP within a median time of 7 days from symptom onset. During a median follow-up of 28.5 days, 56/60 patients fully recovered and 1 patient remained in the ICU. The death rate in the CP group was 3.4% vs. 13.6% in the control group. By multivariate analysis, CP recipients demonstrated a significantly reduced risk of death [HR: 0.04 (95% CI: 0.004-0.36), p: 0.005], significantly better overall survival by Kaplan-Meir analysis (p < 0.001), and increased probability of extubation [OR: 30.3 (95% CI: 2.64-348.9), p: 0.006]. Higher levels of antibodies in the CP were independently associated with significantly reduced risk of death. CP infusion was safe with only one grade 3 adverse event (AE), which easily resolved. CP used early may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with severe COVID-19 (trial number NCT04408209).

17.
Shock ; 56(5): 733-736, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146305

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) is a protein that regulates the protein C anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory pathways. A soluble form of EPCR (sEPCR) circulates in plasma and inhibits activated protein C (APC) activities. The clinical impact of sEPCR and its involvement in COVID-19 has not been explored. In this study, we investigated whether sEPCR levels were related to COVID-19 patients' requirement for hospitalization. METHODS: Plasma sEPCR levels were measured on hospital admission in 84 COVID-19 patients, and in 11 non-hospitalized SARS-CoV2-positive patients approximately 6 days after reported manifestation of their symptoms. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify potential risk factors for hospitalization and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to assess their value. RESULTS: In our cohort, hospitalized patients had considerably higher sEPCR levels upon admission compared with outpatients [107.5 (76.7-156.3) vs. 44.6 (12.1-84.4) ng/mL; P < 0.0001)]. The ROC curve using hospitalization as the classification variable and sEPCR levels as the prognostic variable generated an area under the curve at 0.845 (95% CI = 0.710-0.981, P < 0.001). Additionally, we investigated the predictive value of sEPCR combined with BMI, age, or D-dimers. CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort, sEPCR levels in COVID-19 patients upon hospital admission appear considerably elevated compared with outpatients; this could lead to impaired APC activities and might contribute to the pro-coagulant phenotype reported in such patients. sEPCR measurement might be useful as a point-of-care test in SARS-CoV2-positive patients.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Endothelial Protein C Receptor/blood , Adult , Aged , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/biosynthesis , Hospitalization , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Outpatients , Phenotype , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , ROC Curve , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/blood
18.
In Vivo ; 35(2): 1295-1298, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Lately, studies have reported contradicting results on the cytokine storm seen in critically-ill COVID-19 patients. Depending on the control group used, cytokines have been found to be higher, similar or even lower in COVID-19 compared to critical illnesses associated with elevated cytokine concentrations. However, most of these studies do not take into account critical illness severity. Hence, we decided to compare cytokine levels in critically-ill COVID-19 patients and critically-ill patients of a general intensive care unit (ICU), who did not have sepsis or septic shock, but had an equal disease severity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured on ICU admission in mechanically ventilated, COVID-19 (N=36) and non-COVID-19 (N=30) patients, who had not received dexamethasone, and had equal critical illness severity. Non-COVID-19 patients did not have sepsis or septic shock. RESULTS: In our case control study, circulating IL-6 and IL-10 were lower, while TNF-α and IL-8 levels were higher in critically-ill COVID-19 patients, compared to critically-ill non-COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSION: It is difficult to infer whether the cytokine storm seen in COVID-19 differs from other critical conditions. It is important to recognize that the conclusions of related studies may depend on control group selection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Critical Illness/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Control Groups , Female , Humans , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood
19.
Virology ; 556: 79-86, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065650

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-COV-2 may result in severe pneumonia potentially leading to mechanical ventilation and intensive care treatment. The aim of the present study was to analyze the immune responses in critically ill coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients requiring mechanical ventilation and assess their potential use as markers of clinical progression and outcome. Confirmed COVID-19 patients were grouped into those requiring mechanical ventilation (intubated) and non-intubated. Immune phenotyping was performed and cytokine levels were determined. A novel ratio of CD8+:B cells was significantly lower in intubated versus non-intubated (p = 0.015) and intubated non-survivors (NSV) versus survivors (SV) (p = 0.015). The same ratio correlated with outcome, CRP, IL-6 levels and neutrophil count. Receiving operating curve (ROC) analysis for prediction of requirement of mechanical ventilation by the CD8+:B cells ratio revealed an AUC of 0.747 and a p = 0.007. The ratio of CD8+:B cells may serve as a useful prognostic marker for disease severity and outcome.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
20.
Viruses ; 13(1)2020 12 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1043520

ABSTRACT

Immune profiling of patients with COVID-19 has shown that SARS-CoV-2 causes severe lymphocyte deficiencies (e.g., lymphopenia, decreased numbers, and exhaustion of T cells) and increased levels of pro-inflammatory monocytes. Peripheral blood (PB) samples from convalescent plasma (CP) donors, COVID-19 patients, and control subjects were analyzed by multiparametric flow cytometry, allowing the identification of a wide panel of immune cells, comprising lymphocytes (T, B, natural killer (NK) and NKT cells), monocytes, granulocytes, and their subsets. Compared to active COVID-19 patients, our results revealed that the immune profile of recovered donors was restored for most subpopulations. Nevertheless, even 2 months after recovery, CP donors still had reduced levels of CD4+ T and B cells, as well as granulocytes. CP donors with non-detectable levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in their serum were characterized by higher Th9 and Th17 cells, which were possibly expanded at the expense of Th2 humoral immunity. The most noticeable alterations were identified in previously hospitalized CP donors, who presented the lowest levels of CD8+ regulatory T cells, the highest levels of CD56+CD16- NKT cells, and a promotion of a Th17-type phenotype, which might be associated with a prolonged pro-inflammatory response. A longer follow-up of CP donors will eventually reveal the time needed for full recovery of their immune system competence.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Plasma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , B-Lymphocytes , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Th1 Cells , Th17 Cells , Th2 Cells , Time Factors , Young Adult
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