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1.
Eur Respir J ; 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775304

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Pulse glucocorticoid therapy is used in hyperinflammation related to coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). We evaluated the efficacy and safety of pulse intravenous methylprednisolone in addition to standard treatment in COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: In this multicenter, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 304 hospitalised patients with Covid-19 pneumonia were randomised to receive 1 g of methylprednisolone intravenously for 3 consecutive days or placebo in addition to standard dexamethasone. The primary outcome was the duration of the patient hospitalisation, calculated as the time interval between randomisation and hospital discharge without the need of supplementary oxygen. The key secondary outcomes were survival free from invasive ventilation with orotracheal intubation and overall survival. RESULTS: Overall, 112 of 151 (75.4%) patients in the pulse methylprednisolone arm and 111 of 150 (75.2%) in the placebo arm were discharged from hospital without oxygen within 30 days from randomisation. Median time to discharge was similar in both groups [15 days (95% confidence interval (CI), 13.0 to 17.0) and 16 days (95%CI, 13.8 to 18.2); hazard ratio (HR), 0.92; 95% CI 0.71-1.20; p=0.528]. No significant differences between pulse methylprednisolone and placebo arms were observed in terms of admission to Intensive Care Unit with orotracheal intubation or death (20.0% versus 16.1%; HR, 1.26; 95%CI, 0.74-2.16; p=0.176), or overall mortality (10.0% versus 12.2%; HR, 0.83; 95%CI, 0.42-1.64; p=0.584). Serious adverse events occurred with similar frequency in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Methylprenisolone pulse therapy added to dexamethasone was not of benefit in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. MESSAGE OF THE STUDY: Pulse glucocorticoid therapy is used for severe and/or life threatening immuno-inflammatory diseases. The addition of pulse glucocorticoid therapy to the standard low dose of dexamethasone scheme was not of benefit in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

2.
Epidemics ; 37: 100528, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520903

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the night of February 20, 2020, the first epidemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside Asia was uncovered by the identification of its first patient in Lombardy region, Italy. In the following weeks, Lombardy experienced a sudden increase in the number of ascertained infections and strict measures were imposed to contain the epidemic spread. METHODS: We analyzed official records of cases occurred in Lombardy to characterize the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 during the early phase of the outbreak. A line list of laboratory-confirmed cases was set up and later retrospectively consolidated, using standardized interviews to ascertained cases and their close contacts. We provide estimates of the serial interval, of the basic reproduction number, and of the temporal variation of the net reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Epidemiological investigations detected over 500 cases (median age: 69, IQR: 57-78) before the first COVID-19 diagnosed patient (February 20, 2020), and suggested that SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in at least 222 out of 1506 (14.7%) municipalities with sustained transmission across all the Lombardy provinces. We estimated the mean serial interval to be 6.6 days (95% CrI, 0.7-19). Our estimates of the basic reproduction number range from 2.6 in Pavia (95% CI, 2.1-3.2) to 3.3 in Milan (95% CI, 2.9-3.8). A decreasing trend in the net reproduction number was observed following the detection of the first case. CONCLUSIONS: At the time of first case notification, COVID-19 was already widespread in the entire Lombardy region. This may explain the large number of critical cases experienced by this region in a very short timeframe. The slight decrease of the reproduction number observed in the early days after February 20, 2020 might be due to increased population awareness and early interventions implemented before the regional lockdown imposed on March 8, 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Pol J Radiol ; 86: e172-e176, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173027

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In December 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as being responsible for the pulmonary infection called COVID-19. On 21 February 2020, the first autochthonous case of COVID-19 was detected in Italy. Our goal is to report the most common chest computed tomography (CT) findings identified in 64 patients, in the initial phase of COVID-19. METHODS: Sixty-four chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) examinations performed at the Radiology Unit of the Hospital of Cremona, from 22 to 29 February 2020, of 64 patients during first week of hospitalization for COVID-19 were retrospectively evaluated. All cases were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2. Image analysis was independently conducted by 2 radiologists with 10 years and 1 year of experience in chest imaging. The inter-observer agreement was obtained by applying a Cohen's κ test. RESULTS: The average age of patients was 67.1 years (± 12.2); men 42 (66%). HRCT was performed on the 5th (± 1.5) day of hospitalization. More frequently, the initial CT changes of the lung show more or less extensive areas of ground-glass, as single pattern or with parenchymal consolidations. Coronavirus lung involvement appears very frequently multi-lobar, bilateral, and it concerns both subpleural and central regions. An excellent agreement (κ: 0.88-1, CI: 0.79-1.01, p < 0.05) concerning CT findings between the 2 operators was reached. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that detection of the most frequent pulmonary CT-scan changes, in the early stages of COVID-19, can be performed, with excellent agreement, among readers with different experience, and consequently attribute their exact diagnostic value, in an appropriate clinical and environmental exposure setting.

4.
Am J Dermatopathol ; 43(5): 342-348, 2021 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1010666

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is rapidly spreading throughout the world. The study describes 12 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, who developed an acute erythematous rash with nonfollicular pinhead-sized pustules, without mucosal involvement. The clinical differential diagnosis was viral rash, acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), or multiform erythema. computed tomography with a diagnosis of interstitial pneumonia and a respiratory tract sample positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay. Patients had signs of respiratory distress and were treated with hydroxychloroquine, darunavir, ritonavir, heparin, ceftriaxone, and azithromycin. Punch biopsies showed subcorneal pustules typical of AGEP. Dermal microvascular injury and thrombosis as described in skin damage by SARS-CoV-2 infection was not observed. The direct immunofluorescence for IgG, IgA, IgM, and C3 was negative in 8 patients investigated. A polymerase chain reaction for RNA SARS-CoV-2 performed on frozen skin was negative in 5 of 6 patients. Most of our patients were treated with systemic corticosteroids. After some days (4-10), the diffuse erythema and pustules had improved. AGEP is classified as a severe cutaneous adverse reaction, provoked by drugs and acute infections. Characteristically, removal of the offending agent leads to spontaneous resolution typically in less than 15 days. The recognition of AGEP is important, in order to avoid confusion with a systemic infection and consequently to avoid incorrect treatment. Cutaneous adverse reactions to drugs are common and are major health problems worldwide causing considerable costs for health care systems. We suggest that in the patients with AGEP during SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, viral infection is a risk factor for developing drug reaction.


Subject(s)
Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis/etiology , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Skin/drug effects , Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis/drug therapy , Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis/immunology , Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis/virology , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biopsy , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Skin/immunology , Skin/pathology , Skin/virology , Treatment Outcome
5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 104: 433-440, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002636

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Canakinumab is an IL-1ß antibody that neutralises the activity of IL-1ß. This study examined the efficacy and safety of canakinumab in patients with moderate COVID-19-related pneumonia. DESIGN: This study aimed to evaluate the reduction in duration of hospitalisation with adequate oxygen status. Forty-eight patients with moderate COVID-19-related pneumonia were asked to participate in the prospective case-control study: 33 patients (cases) signed informed consent and received canakinumab (Cohort 1) and 15 patients (Controls) refused to receive the experimental drug and received institutional standard of care (Cohort 2). RESULTS: Hospital discharge within 21 days was seen in 63% of patients in Cohort 1 vs. 0% in Cohort 2 (median 14 vs. 26 days, respectively; p < 0.001). There was significant clinical improvement in ventilation regimes following administration of canakinumab compared with Cohort 2 (Stuart-Maxwell test for paired data, p < 0.001). Patients treated with canakinumab experienced a significant increase in PaO2:FiO2 (p < 0.001) and reduction in lung damage by CT (p = 0.01), along with significant decreases in immune/inflammation markers that were not observed in Cohort 2. Only mild side-effects were seen in patients treated with canakinumab; survival at 60 days was 90.0% (95% CI 71.9-96.7) in patients treated with canakinumab and 73.3% (95% CI 43.6-89.1) for Cohort 2. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with canakinumab in patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia rapidly restored normal oxygen status, decreased the need for invasive mechanical ventilation, and was associated with earlier hospital discharge and favourable prognosis versus standard of care.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome
6.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243262, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965607

ABSTRACT

Timely identification of COVID-19 patients at high risk of mortality can significantly improve patient management and resource allocation within hospitals. This study seeks to develop and validate a data-driven personalized mortality risk calculator for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. De-identified data was obtained for 3,927 COVID-19 positive patients from six independent centers, comprising 33 different hospitals. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory variables were collected at hospital admission. The COVID-19 Mortality Risk (CMR) tool was developed using the XGBoost algorithm to predict mortality. Its discrimination performance was subsequently evaluated on three validation cohorts. The derivation cohort of 3,062 patients has an observed mortality rate of 26.84%. Increased age, decreased oxygen saturation (≤ 93%), elevated levels of C-reactive protein (≥ 130 mg/L), blood urea nitrogen (≥ 18 mg/dL), and blood creatinine (≥ 1.2 mg/dL) were identified as primary risk factors, validating clinical findings. The model obtains out-of-sample AUCs of 0.90 (95% CI, 0.87-0.94) on the derivation cohort. In the validation cohorts, the model obtains AUCs of 0.92 (95% CI, 0.88-0.95) on Seville patients, 0.87 (95% CI, 0.84-0.91) on Hellenic COVID-19 Study Group patients, and 0.81 (95% CI, 0.76-0.85) on Hartford Hospital patients. The CMR tool is available as an online application at covidanalytics.io/mortality_calculator and is currently in clinical use. The CMR model leverages machine learning to generate accurate mortality predictions using commonly available clinical features. This is the first risk score trained and validated on a cohort of COVID-19 patients from Europe and the United States.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology
7.
Intern Emerg Med ; 15(8): 1425-1433, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728263

ABSTRACT

The association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia and venous thrombotic disorders is still unclear. We assessed the association between COVID-19 infection-related pneumonia and proximal deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in a cohort of patients admitted to our hospital during the European outbreak in the front line of Cremona, Lombardy. In a single-center cross-sectional study, all patients hospitalized for more than 5 days in Internal Medicine Department with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia received 2-point compressive ultrasound assessment (CUS) of the leg vein system during a single day. Ninety-four percent of patients received enoxaparin as standard pharmacological prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism. The presence of DVT was defined as incompressibility of popliteal or common femoral vein. Out of 121 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (mean age 71.8, 66.3% males) hospitalized on March 31st, 70 stayed in hospital for over 5 days and 66 of them underwent CUS of deep venous system of the legs. The presence of asymptomatic DVT was found in 9 patients (13.6%). No symptomatic DVT was found. Patients with DVT showed mean age = 75.7 years, mean D-dimer levels = 4.02 ng/ml and all of them received enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis, except one. Computed tomography pulmonary angiogram confirmed pulmonary embolism in five patients. One every seven patients with COVID-19-related pneumonia, hospitalized for more than 5 days, had asymptomatic proximal DVT and half of them had confirmed PE despite standard pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. This observational study suggests the need of an active surveillance through CUS in patients hospitalized with acute SARS-COV-2 and underline the need of a more intense thromboprophylaxis.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia/etiology , Venous Thrombosis/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asymptomatic Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prevalence , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Ultrasonography/methods , Venous Thrombosis/epidemiology , Venous Thrombosis/physiopathology
8.
Viruses ; 12(8)2020 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-670832

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is the characterization and genomic tracing by phylogenetic analyses of 59 new SARS-CoV-2 Italian isolates obtained from patients attending clinical centres in North and Central Italy until the end of April 2020. All but one of the newly-characterized genomes belonged to the lineage B.1, the most frequently identified in European countries, including Italy. Only a single sequence was found to belong to lineage B. A mean of 6 nucleotide substitutions per viral genome was observed, without significant differences between synonymous and non-synonymous mutations, indicating genetic drift as a major source for virus evolution. tMRCA estimation confirmed the probable origin of the epidemic between the end of January and the beginning of February with a rapid increase in the number of infections between the end of February and mid-March. Since early February, an effective reproduction number (Re) greater than 1 was estimated, which then increased reaching the peak of 2.3 in early March, confirming the circulation of the virus before the first COVID-19 cases were documented. Continuous use of state-of-the-art methods for molecular surveillance is warranted to trace virus circulation and evolution and inform effective prevention and containment of future SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Bayes Theorem , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genome, Viral , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Likelihood Functions , Molecular Epidemiology , Molecular Typing , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Whole Genome Sequencing
10.
J Thromb Haemost ; 18(6): 1320-1323, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antiviral drugs are administered in patients with severe COVID-19 respiratory syndrome, including those treated with direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Concomitant administration of antiviral agents has the potential to increase their plasma concentration. A series of patients managed in the Cremona Thrombosis Center were admitted at Cremona Hospital for SARS-CoV-2 and started antiviral drugs without stopping DOAC therapy. DOAC plasma levels were measured in hospital and results compared with those recorded before hospitalization. METHODS: All consecutive patients on DOACs were candidates for administration of antiviral agents (lopinavir, ritonavir, or darunavir). Plasma samples for DOAC measurement were collected 2to 4 days after starting antiviral treatment, at 12 hours from the last dose intake in patients on dabigatran and apixaban, and at 24 hours in those on rivaroxaban and edoxaban. For each patient, C-trough DOAC level, expressed as ng/mL, was compared with the one measured before hospitalization. RESULTS: Of the 1039 patients hospitalized between February 22 and March 15, 2020 with COVID-19 pneumonia and candidates for antiviral therapy, 32 were on treatment with a DOAC. DOAC was stopped in 20 and continued in the remaining 12. On average, C-trough levels were 6.14 times higher during hospitalization than in the pre-hospitalization period. CONCLUSION: DOAC patients treated with antiviral drugs show an alarming increase in DOAC plasma levels. In order to prevent bleeding complications, we believe that physicians should consider withholding DOACs from patients with SARS-CoV-2 and replacing them with alternative parenteral antithrombotic strategies for as long as antiviral agents are deemed necessary and until discharge.


Subject(s)
Antithrombins/blood , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Dabigatran/blood , Factor Xa Inhibitors/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pyrazoles/blood , Pyridines/blood , Pyridones/blood , Thiazoles/blood , Administration, Oral , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antithrombins/administration & dosage , Antithrombins/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dabigatran/administration & dosage , Dabigatran/adverse effects , Darunavir/adverse effects , Drug Interactions , Drug Monitoring , Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Factor Xa Inhibitors/adverse effects , Female , Hemorrhage/chemically induced , Humans , Italy , Lopinavir/adverse effects , Male , Pandemics , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pyrazoles/administration & dosage , Pyrazoles/adverse effects , Pyridines/administration & dosage , Pyridines/adverse effects , Pyridones/administration & dosage , Pyridones/adverse effects , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Ritonavir/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Thiazoles/administration & dosage , Thiazoles/adverse effects
11.
Intern Emerg Med ; 15(5): 751-753, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-60310

ABSTRACT

The development of COVID-19 syndrome in anticoagulated patients, and especially their admission to intensive-care units with acute severe respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), expose them to specific problems related to their therapy, in addition to those associated with the acute viral infection. Patients on VKA hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 show high instability of PT INR due to the variability of vitamin K metabolism, diet, fasting, co-medications, liver impairment, and heart failure. Patients on DOAC are exposed to under/over treatment caused by significant pharmacological interferences. In consideration of the pharmacological characteristics of oral anticoagulant drugs, the multiple pharmacological interactions due to the treatment of acute disease and the possible necessity of mechanical ventilation with hospitalization in intensive-care units, we suggest replacing oral anticoagulant therapies (VKA and DOAC) with parenteral heparin to avoid the risk of over/under treatment.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Heparin/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Administration, Oral , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Critical Care , Drug Interactions , Heparin/adverse effects , Hospitalization , Humans , Infusions, Parenteral , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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