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1.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(4)2022 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884044

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-invasive, bedside diagnostic tools are extremely important for tailo ring the management of respiratory failure patients. The use of electronic noses (ENs) for exhaled breath analysis has the potential to provide useful information for phenotyping different respiratory disorders and improving diagnosis, but their application in respiratory failure patients remains a challenge. We developed a novel measurement apparatus for analysing exhaled breath in such patients. METHODS: The breath sampling apparatus uses hospital medical air and oxygen pipeline systems to control the fraction of inspired oxygen and prevent contamination of exhaled gas from ambient Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) It is designed to minimise the dead space and respiratory load imposed on patients. Breath odour fingerprints were assessed using a commercial EN with custom MOX sensors. We carried out a feasibility study on 33 SARS-CoV-2 patients (25 with respiratory failure and 8 asymptomatic) and 22 controls to gather data on tolerability and for a preliminary assessment of sensitivity and specificity. The most significant features for the discrimination between breath-odour fingerprints from respiratory failure patients and controls were identified using the Boruta algorithm and then implemented in the development of a support vector machine (SVM) classification model. RESULTS: The novel sampling system was well-tolerated by all patients. The SVM differentiated between respiratory failure patients and controls with an accuracy of 0.81 (area under the ROC curve) and a sensitivity and specificity of 0.920 and 0.682, respectively. The selected features were significantly different in SARS-CoV-2 patients with respiratory failure versus controls and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 patients (p < 0.001 and 0.046, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: the developed system is suitable for the collection of exhaled breath samples from respiratory failure patients. Our preliminary results suggest that breath-odour fingerprints may be sensitive markers of lung disease severity and aetiology.

2.
Multidiscip Respir Med ; 16(1): 759, 2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810595

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In COVID-19, higher than expected level of intrapulmonary shunt has been described, in association with a discrepancy between the initial relatively preserved lung mechanics and the hypoxia severity. This study aim was to measure the shunt fraction and variations of PaO2/FiO2 ratio and oxygen alveolar-arterial gradient (A-a O2) at different FiO2. METHODS: Shunt was measured by a non-invasive system during spontaneous breathing in 12 patients hospitalized at COVID-19 Semi-Intensive Care Unit of Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo, Italy, between October 22 and November 23, 2020. RESULTS: Nine patients were men, mean age (±SD) 62±15 years, mean BMI 27.5±4.8 Kg/m2. Systemic hypertension, diabetes type 2 and previous myocardial infarction were referred in 33%, 17%, and 7%, respectively. Mean PaO2/FiO2 ratio was 234±66 and 11 patients presented a bilateral chest X-ray involvement. Mean shunt was 21±6%. Mainly in patients with a more severe respiratory failure, we found a progressive decrease of PaO2/FiO2 ratio with higher FiO2. Considering (A-a O2), we found a uniform tendency to increase with FiO2 increasing. Even in this case, the more severe were the patients, the higher was the slope, suggesting FiO2 insensitiveness due to a shunt effect, as strengthened by our measurements. CONCLUSION: Relying on a single evaluation of PaO2/FiO2 ratio, especially at high FiO2, could be misleading in COVID-19. We propose a two steps evaluation, the first at low SpO2 value (e.g., 92-94%) and the second one at high FiO2 (i.e., >0.7), allowing to characterize both the amendable (ventilation/perfusion mismatch), and the fixed (shunt) contribution quote of respiratory impairment, respectively.

3.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715882

ABSTRACT

The aim of our study is to evaluate the accuracy of CURB-65 and Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI), the most widely used scores for community acquired pneumonia, and MuLBSTA, a viral pneumonia score, in predicting 28-day mortality in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.We retrospectively collected clinical data of consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia admitted at Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital from February 23rd to March 14th, 2020. We calculated at Emergency Department (ED) presentation CURB-65, PSI and MuLBSTA and we compared their performances in discriminating between survivors and non-survivors at 28 days. Among 431 hospitalized patients, the majority presented with hypoxic respiratory failure: median (interquartile range, IQR) PaO2/FiO2 ratio at admission was 228.6 (142.0-278.1). In the first 24 hours, 111 (27%) patients were administered low-flow oxygen cannula, 50 (12%) Venturi Mask, 95 (23%) non-rebreather mask, 106 (26%) non-invasive ventilation, 12 (3%) mechanical ventilation and 41 (9%) were not administered oxygen therapy. Mortality rate at 28-day was 35% (150/431). Between survivors and non-survivors, median (IQR) scores were, respectively, 1.0 (1.0-2.0) and 2.0 (2.0-3.0) for CURB-65 (p<0.001); 90.5 (76.0-105.5) and 115.0 (100.0-129.0) for PSI (p<0.001); 7.0 (5.0-10.0) and 11.0 (9.0-13.0) for MuLBSTA (p<0.001). Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUCs) for each score were, respectively, 0.725 (0.662-0.787), 0.776 (0.693-0.859) and 0.743 (0.680-0.806) (p>0,05). PSI and MuLBSTA did not show a better performance when compared to CURB-65. Although CURB-65, PSI and MuLBSTA scores are useful tools to discriminate between survivors and non-survivors in COVID-19 pneumonia, their diagnostic accuracy in discriminating 28-day mortality in COVID-19 pneumonia is moderate, as confirmed by AUCs <0.80, and there is a potential underestimation of disease severity in the low-risk classes. For this reason, they should not be recommended in ED to decide between inpatient and outpatient management in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia.

4.
Panminerva Med ; 2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702913

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An aspect of COVID-19 baffling physicians is the presentation of patients with acute respiratory failure, but normal mental faculties and no perception of dyspnea (i.e. "silent hypoxemia"). The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency, characteristics, and outcome of COVID-19 patients with silent hypoxemic status and comparing them with a symptomatic severity-matched group. METHODS: This is a retrospective monocentric observational study involving all patients with PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, admitted at Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Bergamo (Italy) from Emergency Department due to acute respiratory failure, during the first Italian pandemic peak (February-April 2020). RESULTS: Overall 28-day mortality in 1,316 patients was 26.9%. Patients who did not report dyspnea at admission (N 469, 35.6%) had a lower 28-day mortality (22.6 vs. 29.3%, p=0.009). The severity matching analysis (i.e. PaO2/FiO2 and imaging) led to the identification of two groups of 254 patients that did not differ for sex prevalence, age, BMI, smoking history, comorbidities, and PaCO2 at admission. The use of CPAP during the first 24 hours, such as the need of endotracheal intubation (ETI) during the overall admission were significantly lower in matched patients with silent hypoxemia, whereas 28-day mortality resulted similar (p=0.21). CONCLUSIONS: Lack of dyspnea is common in patients suffering from severe COVID-19 pneumonia leading to respiratory failure, since up to a third of them could be asymptomatic on admission. Dyspnea per se correlates with pneumonia severity, and prognosis. However, dyspnea loses its predictive relevance once other findings to evaluate pneumonia severity are available such as PaO2/FiO2 and imaging. Silent hypoxemic patients are less likely to receive CPAP during the first 24 hours and ETI during the hospitalization, in spite of a comparable mortality to the dyspneic ones.

5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261113, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637108

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Complement activation contributes to lung dysfunction in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We assessed whether C5 blockade with eculizumab could improve disease outcome. METHODS: In this single-centre, academic, unblinded study two 900 mg eculizumab doses were added-on standard therapy in ten COVID-19 patients admitted from February 2020 to April 2020 and receiving Continuous-Positive-Airway-Pressure (CPAP) ventilator support from ≤24 hours. We compared their outcomes with those of 65 contemporary similar controls. Primary outcome was respiratory rate at one week of ventilator support. Secondary outcomes included the combined endpoint of mortality and discharge with chronic complications. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of eculizumab-treated patients and controls were similar. At baseline, sC5b-9 levels, ex vivo C5b-9 and thrombi deposition were increased. Ex vivo tests normalised in eculizumab-treated patients, but not in controls. In eculizumab-treated patients respiratory rate decreased from 26.8±7.3 breaths/min at baseline to 20.3±3.8 and 18.0±4.8 breaths/min at one and two weeks, respectively (p<0.05 for both), but did not change in controls. Between-group changes differed significantly at both time-points (p<0.01). Changes in respiratory rate correlated with concomitant changes in ex vivo C5b-9 deposits at one (rs = 0.706, p = 0.010) and two (rs = 0.751, p = 0.032) weeks. Over a median (IQR) period of 47.0 (14.0-121.0) days, four eculizumab-treated patients died or had chronic complications versus 52 controls [HRCrude (95% CI): 0.26 (0.09-0.72), p = 0.010]. Between-group difference was significant even after adjustment for age, sex and baseline serum creatinine [HRAdjusted (95% CI): 0.30 (0.10-0.84), p = 0.023]. Six patients and 13 controls were discharged without complications [HRCrude (95% CI): 2.88 (1.08-7.70), p = 0.035]. Eculizumab was tolerated well. The main study limitations were the relatively small sample size and the non-randomised design. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe COVID-19, eculizumab safely improved respiratory dysfunction and decreased the combined endpoint of mortality and discharge with chronic complications. Findings need confirmation in randomised controlled trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Case-Control Studies , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Treatment Outcome
6.
J Hypertens ; 40(4): 666-674, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566080

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The effect of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RASIs) on mortality in patients with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is debated. From a cohort of 1352 consecutive patients admitted with Covid-19 to Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, Italy, between February and April 2020, we selected and studied hypertensive patients to assess whether antecedent (prior to hospitalization) use of RASIs might affect mortality from Covid-19 according to age. METHODS AND RESULTS: Arterial hypertension was present in 688 patients. Overall mortality (in-hospital or shortly after discharge) was 35% (N = 240). After adjusting for 26 medical history variables via propensity score matching, antecedent use of RASIs (N = 459, 67%) was associated with a lower mortality in older hypertensive patients (age above the median of 68 years in the whole series), whereas no evidence of a significant effect was found in the younger group of the same population (P interaction = 0.001). In an analysis of the subgroup of 432 hypertensive patients older than 68 years, we considered two RASI drug subclasses, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs, N = 156) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs, N = 140), and assessed their respective effects by taking no-antecedent-use of RASIs as reference. This analysis showed that both antecedent use of ACEIs and antecedent use of ARBs were associated with a lower Covid-19 mortality (odds ratioACEI = 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.36--0.91, P = 0.018) (odds ratioARB = 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.29--0.82, P = 0.006). CONCLUSION: In the population of over-68 hypertensive Covid-19 patients, antecedent use of ACEIs or ARBs was associated with a lower all-cause mortality, whether in-hospital or shortly after discharge, compared with no-antecedent-use of RASIs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Hypertension/chemically induced , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/drug therapy , Renin-Angiotensin System , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
BMC Pulm Med ; 21(1): 96, 2021 Mar 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143203

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gender-related factors might affect vulnerability to Covid-19. The aim of this study was to describe the role of gender on clinical features and 28-day mortality in Covid-19 patients. METHODS: Observational study of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in Bergamo, Italy, during the first three weeks of the outbreak. Medical records, clinical, radiological and laboratory findings upon admission and treatment have been collected. Primary outcome was 28-day mortality since hospitalization. RESULTS: 431 consecutive adult patients were admitted. Female patients were 119 (27.6%) with a mean age of 67.0 ± 14.5 years (vs 67.8 ± 12.5 for males, p = 0.54). Previous history of myocardial infarction, vasculopathy and former smoking habits were more common for males. At the time of admission PaO2/FiO2 was similar between men and women (228 [IQR, 134-273] vs 238 mmHg [150-281], p = 0.28). Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) assistance was needed in the first 24 h more frequently in male patients (25.7% vs 13.0%; p = 0.006). Overall 28-day mortality was 26.1% in women and 38.1% in men (p = 0.018). Gender did not result an independent predictor of death once the parameters related to disease severity at presentation were included in the multivariable analysis (p = 0.898). Accordingly, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis in female and male patients requiring CPAP or non-invasive ventilation in the first 24 h did not find a significant difference (p = 0.687). CONCLUSION: Hospitalized women are less likely to die from Covid-19; however, once severe disease occurs, the risk of dying is similar to men. Further studies are needed to better investigate the role of gender in clinical course and outcome of Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/statistics & numerical data , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypoxia/epidemiology , Hypoxia/physiopathology , Hypoxia/therapy , Italy/epidemiology , Kaplan-Meier Estimate , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Noninvasive Ventilation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Smoking/epidemiology
11.
Panminerva Med ; 63(1): 51-61, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068211

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Findings from February 2020, indicate that the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 can be heterogeneous, probably due to the infectious dose and viral load of SARS-CoV-2 within the first weeks of the outbreak. The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of overall 28-day mortality at the peak of the Italian outbreak. METHODS: Retrospective observational study of all COVID-19 patients admitted to the main hospital of Bergamo, from February 23 to March 14, 2020. RESULTS: Five hundred and eight patients were hospitalized, predominantly male (72.4%), mean age of 66±15 years; 49.2% were older than 70 years. Most of patients presented with severe respiratory failure (median value [IQR] of PaO2/FiO2: 233 [149-281]). Mortality rate at 28 days resulted of 33.7% (N.=171). Thirty-nine percent of patients were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), 9.5% with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and 13.6% with endotracheal intubation. 9.5% were admitted to Semi-Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, and 18.9% to Intensive Care Unit. Risk factors independently associated with 28-day mortality were advanced age (≥78 years: odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 38.91 [10.67-141.93], P<0.001; 70-77 years: 17.30 [5.40-55.38], P<0.001; 60-69 years: 3.20 [1.00-10.20], P=0.049), PaO2/FiO2<200 at presentation (3.50 [1.70-7.20], P=0.001), need for CPAP/NIV in the first 24 hours (8.38 [3.63-19.35], P<0.001), and blood urea value at admission (1.01 [1.00-1.02], P=0.015). CONCLUSIONS: At the peak of the outbreak, with a probable high infectious dose and viral load, older age, the severity of respiratory failure and renal impairment at presentation, but not comorbidities, are predictors of 28-day mortality in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Age Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
12.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0245281, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDS: Validated tools for predicting individual in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 are lacking. We aimed to develop and to validate a simple clinical prediction rule for early identification of in-hospital mortality of patients with COVID-19. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We enrolled 2191 consecutive hospitalized patients with COVID-19 from three Italian dedicated units (derivation cohort: 1810 consecutive patients from Bergamo and Pavia units; validation cohort: 381 consecutive patients from Rome unit). The outcome was in-hospital mortality. Fine and Gray competing risks multivariate model (with discharge as a competing event) was used to develop a prediction rule for in-hospital mortality. Discrimination and calibration were assessed by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and by Brier score in both the derivation and validation cohorts. Seven variables were independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality: age (Hazard Ratio [HR] 1.08, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.07-1.09), male sex (HR 1.62, 95%CI 1.30-2.00), duration of symptoms before hospital admission <10 days (HR 1.72, 95%CI 1.39-2.12), diabetes (HR 1.21, 95%CI 1.02-1.45), coronary heart disease (HR 1.40 95% CI 1.09-1.80), chronic liver disease (HR 1.78, 95%CI 1.16-2.72), and lactate dehydrogenase levels at admission (HR 1.0003, 95%CI 1.0002-1.0005). The AUC was 0.822 (95%CI 0.722-0.922) in the derivation cohort and 0.820 (95%CI 0.724-0.920) in the validation cohort with good calibration. The prediction rule is freely available as a web-app (COVID-CALC: https://sites.google.com/community.unipa.it/covid-19riskpredictions/c19-rp). CONCLUSIONS: A validated simple clinical prediction rule can promptly and accurately assess the risk for in-hospital mortality, improving triage and the management of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Mobile Applications , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment/methods , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
13.
Mucosal Immunol ; 14(2): 305-316, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947522

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 enters into the human body mainly through the ACE2 + TMPRSS2+ nasal epithelial cells. The initial host response to this pathogen occurs in a peculiar immune microenvironment that, starting from the Nasopharynx-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (NALT) system, is the product of a long evolutionary process that is aimed to first recognize exogenous airborne agents. In the present work, we want to critically review the latest molecular and cellular findings on the mucosal response to SARS-CoV-2 in the nasal cavity and in NALT, and to analyze its impact in the subsequent course of COVID-19. Finally, we want to explore the possibility that the regulation of the systemic inflammatory network against the virus can be modulated starting from the initial phases of the nasal and nasopharyngeal response and this may have several clinical and epidemiological implications starting from a mucosal vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Lymphoid Tissue/immunology , Nasopharynx/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization
14.
Eur Radiol ; 31(4): 1999-2012, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841709

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the inter-rater agreement of chest X-ray (CXR) findings in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to determine the value of initial CXR along with demographic, clinical, and laboratory data at emergency department (ED) presentation for predicting mortality and the need for ventilatory support. METHODS: A total of 340 COVID-19 patients who underwent CXR in the ED setting (March 1-13, 2020) were retrospectively included. Two reviewers independently assessed CXR abnormalities, including ground-glass opacities (GGOs) and consolidation. Two scoring systems (Brixia score and percentage of lung involvement) were applied. Inter-rater agreement was assessed by weighted Cohen's kappa (κ) or intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Predictors of death and respiratory support were identified by logistic or Poisson regression. RESULTS: GGO admixed with consolidation (n = 235, 69%) was the most common CXR finding. The inter-rater agreement was almost perfect for type of parenchymal opacity (κ = 0.90), Brixia score (ICC = 0.91), and percentage of lung involvement (ICC = 0.95). The Brixia score (OR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.34; p = 0.003), age (OR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.22; p < 0.001), PaO2/FiO2 ratio (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.98, 1; p = 0.002), and cardiovascular diseases (OR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.28, 8.39; p = 0.014) predicted death. Percentage of lung involvement (OR: 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.03; p = 0.001) and PaO2/FiO2 ratio (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.00; p < 0.001) were significant predictors of the need for ventilatory support. CONCLUSIONS: CXR is a reproducible tool for assessing COVID-19 and integrates with patient history, PaO2/FiO2 ratio, and SpO2 values to early predict mortality and the need for ventilatory support. KEY POINTS: • Chest X-ray is a reproducible tool for assessing COVID-19 pneumonia. • The Brixia score and percentage of lung involvement on chest X-ray integrate with patient history, PaO2/FIO2 ratio, and SpO2 values to early predict mortality and the need for ventilatory support in COVID-19 patients presenting to the emergency department.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Lung , Radiography, Thoracic , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , X-Rays
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