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Inflamm Bowel Dis ; 2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778922


BACKGROUND: Data from the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic suggested that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not at higher risk of being infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) than the general population and that a worse prognosis is not associated with immunomodulatory drugs, with the possible exception of systemic steroids. METHODS: This retrospective, observational study included consecutive IBD patients from the Sicilian Network for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (SN-IBD) cohort who had a SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosis (polymerase chain reaction-confirmed presence of the viral genome in a nasopharyngeal swab) during the second COVID-19 pandemic wave (September 2020 to December 2020). Data regarding demographics, IBD features and treatments, and comorbidities were analyzed in correlation with COVID-19 clinical outcomes. RESULTS: Data on 122 patients (mean age, 43.9 ±â€…16.7 years; males, 50.0%; Crohn's disease, 62.3%; ulcerative colitis, 37.7%) were reported. Twelve patients developed COVID-19-related pneumonia (9.8%), 4 (3.3%) required respiratory assistance (nonmechanical ventilation or orotracheal intubation), and 4 died (case fatality rate, 3.3%). In a multivariable analysis, age (odds ratio [OR], 1.034; 95% CI, 1.006-1.147; P = .032) and severe IBD activity (OR, 13.465; 95% CI, 1.104-164.182; P = .042) were independent predictors of COVID-19-related pneumonia, while severe IBD activity (OR, 15.359; 95% CI, 1.320-178.677; P = .030) was the only independent predictor of severe COVID-19, a composite endpoint defined as the need for respiratory assistance or death. A trend towards a protective role of tumor necrosis factor α inhibitors on pneumonia development was reported (P = .076). CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of patients with IBD and SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe IBD activity was the only independent risk factor for severe COVID-19.

This retrospective, observational study on patients with inflammatory bowel disease and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection showed that severe inflammatory bowel disease activity was the only independent risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019.

Gastroenterology Insights ; 13(1):117-126, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1731986


Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has led IBD clinics to adopt a remote monitoring approach in order to guarantee an adequate follow-up of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ensure the rules of social distancing. Aim: The aim of the study was to perform a survey on IBD patients who underwent remote monitoring in our tertiary referral center, to assess adherence, patients' perceptions and satisfaction, and finally their opinions for future monitoring. Furthermore, we evaluated changes in disease activity and Quality of Life (QoL) using validated questionnaires. Methods: Consecutive patients with IBD scheduled for follow-up visits were switched to remote monitoring through e-mail from March 2020 to February 2021. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on the following elements of the intervention: (1) self-assessment questions, (2) action plans, and (3) educational messages. Results: Four hundred and twenty four Caucasian patients completed the survey. 233 (55.1%) were male, 220 (52.0%) had Crohn's Disease (CD). Median baseline Mayo Score and Harvey Bradshaw Index were 3 and 4, respectively. 9 (2.1%) patients were referred to the emergency department because of disease flares. 410 (96.9%) patients were satisfied with telemedicine, and 320 (76.5%) patients reported that they would maintain this approach also after COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, on univariate logistic regression analysis, none of the variables were related to patients' satisfaction or to an improved QoL. The presence of ulcerative colitis was associated with the need for treatment change. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a telemedicine approach is well accepted by patients with IBD and could represent an effective tool in monitoring disease activity. Further controlled studies are warranted to properly assess if telemedicine can replace face-to-face consultations in IBD.

Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 2021: 2534975, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405234


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to affect the gastrointestinal system with a variety of symptoms, including bleeding. The prevalence of bleeding in these patients remains unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis is to estimate the rate of gastrointestinal bleeding in COVID-19 patients and its association with mortality. MEDLINE and Embase were searched through December 20, 2020. Studies reporting COVID-19 patients with and without gastrointestinal bleeding were included. Estimated prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was pooled; heterogeneity was expressed as I 2. Metaregression analysis was performed to assess the impact of confounding covariates. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. A total of 91887 COVID-19 patients were considered, of whom 534 reported gastrointestinal bleeding (0.6%) [409 (76.6%) upper and 121 (22.7%) lower gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB and LGIB, resp.)]. The overall pooled gastrointestinal bleeding rate was 5% [95% CI 2-8], with high heterogeneity (I 2 99.2%); "small study effect" was observed using the Egger test (p=0.049). After removing two outlier studies, the pooled bleeding rate was 2% [95% CI 0-4], with high heterogeneity (I 2 99.2%), and no "small study effect" (p=0.257). The pooled UGIB rate was 1% (95% CI 0-3, I 2 98.6%, p=0.214), whereas the pooled LGIB rate was 1% (95% CI 0-2, I 2 64.7%, p=0.919). Metaregression analysis showed that overall estimates on gastrointestinal bleeding were affected by studies reporting different sources of bleeding. No significant association between gastrointestinal bleeding and mortality was found. In this meta-analysis of published studies, individuals with COVID-19 were found to be at risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, especially upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/etiology , Humans , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
Open Med (Wars) ; 16(1): 134-138, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058322


While countries are in a hurry to obtain SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, we are concerned with the availability of vaccine and whether a vaccine will be available to all in need. We predicted three possible scenarios for vaccine distributions and urge an international united action on the worldwide equitable access. In case the international community does not reach a consensus on how to distribute the vaccine to achieve worldwide equitable access, we call for a distribution plan that includes the employees in international transportation industries and international travelers to halt the disease transmission and promote the recovery of the global economy.

Sci Total Environ ; 765: 144251, 2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014798


The most effective measure to prevent or stop the spread of infectious diseases is the early identification and isolation of infected individuals through comprehensive screening. At present, in the COVID-19 pandemic, such screening is often limited to isolated regions as determined by local governments. Screening of potentially infectious individuals should be conducted through coordinated national or global unified actions. Our current research focuses on using resources to conduct comprehensive national and regional regular testing with a risk rate based, algorithmic guided, multiple-level, pooled testing strategy. Here, combining methodologies with mathematical logistic models, we present an analytic procedure of an overall plan for coordinating state, national, or global testing. The proposed plan includes three parts 1) organization, resource allocation, and distribution; 2) screening based on different risk levels and business types; and 3) algorithm guided, multiple level, continuously screening the entire population in a region. This strategy will overcome the false positive and negative results in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and missing samples during initial tests. Based on our proposed protocol, the population screening of 300,000,000 in the US can be done weekly with between 15,000,000 and 6,000,000 test kits. The strategy can be used for population screening for current COVID-19 and any future severe infectious disease when drugs or vaccines are not available.

COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Algorithms , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2