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1.
Gastroenterology ; 2021 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116737

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of COVID-19, we investigated intestinal infection with SARS-CoV-2, its effect on pathogenesis, and clinical significance. METHODS: Human intestinal biopsy tissues were obtained from patients with COVID-19 (n =19) and uninfected control individuals (n = 10) for microscopic examination, cytometry by time of flight analyses, and RNA sequencing. Additionally, disease severity and mortality were examined in patients with and without GI symptoms in 2 large, independent cohorts of hospitalized patients in the United States (n = 634) and Europe (n = 287) using multivariate logistic regressions. RESULTS: COVID-19 case patients and control individuals in the biopsy cohort were comparable for age, sex, rates of hospitalization, and relevant comorbid conditions. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in small intestinal epithelial cells by immunofluorescence staining or electron microscopy in 14 of 16 patients studied. High-dimensional analyses of GI tissues showed low levels of inflammation, including down-regulation of key inflammatory genes including IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2, and IL1B and reduced frequencies of proinflammatory dendritic cells compared with control individuals. Consistent with these findings, we found a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality in patients presenting with GI symptoms that was independent of sex, age, and comorbid illnesses and despite similar nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. Furthermore, there was reduced levels of key inflammatory proteins in circulation in patients with GI symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight the absence of a proinflammatory response in the GI tract despite detection of SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19 presenting with GI symptoms was observed. A potential role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation needs to be further examined.

2.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955724

ABSTRACT

Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we investigated the impact of GI infection on disease pathogenesis in three large cohorts of patients in the United States and Europe. Unexpectedly, we observed that GI involvement was associated with a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality, with an accompanying reduction in key inflammatory proteins including IL-6, CXCL8, IL-17A and CCL28 in circulation. In a fourth cohort of COVID-19 patients in which GI biopsies were obtained, we identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) within small intestinal enterocytes for the first time in vivo but failed to obtain culturable virus. High dimensional analyses of GI tissues confirmed low levels of cellular inflammation in the GI lamina propria and an active downregulation of key inflammatory genes including IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2 and IL1B among others. These data draw attention to organ-level heterogeneity in disease pathogenesis and highlight the role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation with related mortality benefit.

3.
Dig Dis Sci ; 2020 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758086

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted the practice of endoscopy, but characteristics of COVID patients undergoing endoscopy have not been adequately described. AIMS: To compare findings, clinical outcomes, and patient characteristics of endoscopies performed during the pandemic in patients with and without COVID-19. METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter study of adult endoscopies at six academic hospitals in New York between March 16 and April 30, 2020. Patient and procedure characteristics including age, sex, indication, findings, interventions, and outcomes were compared in patients testing positive, negative, or untested for COVID-19. RESULTS: Six hundred and five endoscopies were performed on 545 patients during the study period. There were 84 (13.9%), 255 (42.2%), and 266 (44.0%) procedures on COVID-positive, negative, and untested patients, respectively. COVID patients were more likely to undergo endoscopy for gastrointestinal bleeding or gastrostomy tube placement, and COVID patients with gastrointestinal bleeding more often required hemostatic interventions on multivariable logistic regression. COVID patients had increased length of stay, intensive care unit admission, and intubation rate. Twenty-seven of 521 patients (5.2%) with no or negative COVID testing prior to endoscopy later tested positive, a median of 13.5 days post-procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopies in COVID patients were more likely to require interventions, due either to more severe illness or a higher threshold to perform endoscopy. A significant number of patients endoscoped without testing were subsequently found to be COVID-positive. Gastroenterologists in areas affected by the pandemic must adapt to changing patterns of endoscopy practice and ensure pre-endoscopy COVID testing.

4.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(8): 1673-1681, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102150

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly is peaking now in New York City and has triggered significant changes to the standard management of gastrointestinal diseases. Priorities such as minimizing viral transmission, preserving personal protective equipment, and freeing hospital beds have driven unconventional approaches to managing gastroenterology (GI) patients. Conversion of endoscopy units to COVID units and redeployment of GI fellows and faculty has profoundly changed the profile of most GI services. Meanwhile, consult and procedural volumes have been reduced drastically. In this review, we share our collective experiences regarding how we have changed our practice of medicine in response to the COVID surge. Although we review our management of specific consults and conditions, the overarching theme focuses primarily on noninvasive measures and maximizing medical therapies. Endoscopic procedures have been reserved for those timely interventions that are most likely to be therapeutic. The role of multidisciplinary discussion, although always important, now has become critical. The support of our faculty and trainees remains essential. Local leadership can encourage well-being by frequent team check-ins and by fostering trainee development through remote learning. Advancing a clear vision and a transparent process for how to organize and triage care in the recovery phase will allow for a smooth transition to our new normal.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Management , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Gastroenterology/methods , Gastroenterology/organization & administration , Infection Control/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics
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