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1.
Thromb J ; 20(1): 34, 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896353

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism (PE) without overt deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was common in hospitalized coronavirus-induced disease (COVID)-19 patients and represented a diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic challenge. The aim of this study was to analyze the prognostic role of PE on mortality and the preventive effect of heparin on PE and mortality in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients without overt DVT. METHODS: Data from 401 unvaccinated patients (age 68 ± 13 years, 33% females) consecutively admitted to the intensive care unit or the medical ward were included in a retrospective longitudinal study. PE was documented by computed tomography scan and DVT by compressive venous ultrasound. The effect of PE diagnosis and any heparin use on in-hospital death (primary outcome) was analyzed by a classical survival model. The preventive effect of heparin on either PE diagnosis or in-hospital death (secondary outcome) was analyzed by a multi-state model after having reclassified patients who started heparin after PE diagnosis as not treated. RESULTS: Median follow-up time was 8 days (range 1-40 days). PE cumulative incidence and in-hospital mortality were 27% and 20%, respectively. PE was predicted by increased D-dimer levels and COVID-19 severity. Independent predictors of in-hospital death were age (hazards ratio (HR) 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.08, p < 0.001), body mass index (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.98, p = 0.004), COVID-19 severity (severe versus mild/moderate HR 3.67, 95% CI 1.30-10.4, p = 0.014, critical versus mild/moderate HR 12.1, 95% CI 4.57-32.2, p < 0.001), active neoplasia (HR 2.58, 95% CI 1.48-4.50, p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 2.47; 95% CI 1.15-5.27, p = 0.020), respiratory rate (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11, p = 0.008), heart rate (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.04, p < 0.001), and any heparin treatment (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.18-0.67, p = 0.001). In the multi-state model, preventive heparin at prophylactic or intermediate/therapeutic dose, compared with no treatment, reduced PE risk and in-hospital death, but it did not influence mortality of patients with a PE diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: PE was common during the first waves pandemic in unvaccinated patients, but it was not a negative prognostic factor for in-hospital death. Heparin treatment at any dose prevented mortality independently of PE diagnosis, D-dimer levels, and disease severity.

2.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 92(1)2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444410

ABSTRACT

A 52-year-old man was re-admitted two weeks after recovering from severe COVD-19 following a 3-days history of cough and worsening shortness of breath. The chest radiograph showed a large right-sided pneumothorax. The first attempt at drainage, performed through a large bored tube, failed. Due to the large dimension of the pneumothorax, and the lung condition (extensive consolidation and diffuse bullous dystrophies), the only thoracic surgical approach prospected was a pneumonectomy. Willing to preserve the lung, the pulmonology team attempted a multi-phase medical-oriented strategy based on medical thoracoscopy. Therefore, the patient underwent 5 chest tube insertions, 2 talc pleurodesis, and an intrapleural blood patch. Air leakage resolution was progressively achieved, and the patient became asymptomatic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pneumothorax , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pleurodesis/methods , Pneumothorax/surgery , Pneumothorax/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Thoracoscopy
3.
Neurol Sci ; 42(6): 2173-2178, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146213

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical and electroneuromyographic (ENMG) characteristics of patients affected by severe COVID-19 infection, evaluated for muscular weakness. MATERIALS AND METHODS: ENMGs performed for evaluation of diffuse weakness in patients who could not be discharged from semi-intensive care COVID unit because of difficulties in ventilation weaning were reviewed. Patients with severe COVID-19 infection who had undergone endotracheal intubation and able to co-operate were considered. ENMG protocol was focused on neurophysiological items that excluded or confirmed critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP), myopathy (CIM), or polyneuromyopathy (CIPM). Standardized clinical evaluation was performed using Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score. RESULTS: Eight patients were included in the study. All presented known risk factors for intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW), and none of them had history of underlying neuromuscular disorders. ENMG findings were normal in two patients, while only two patients had an altered MRC sum score (< 48). Neuromuscular involvement was diagnosed in 6/8 patients (75%): 2 had CIP, 1 had possible CIM, 1 had CIPM, while 1 patient, with clinically evident weakness but equivocal ENMG findings, was classified as ICU-AW. Finally, 1 patient was diagnosed with acute demyelinating neuropathy. Patients with neuromuscular involvement were those with longer intubation duration and higher levels of IL-6 at admission. CONCLUSION: Neuromuscular complications are frequent in severe COVID-19 and cannot be excluded by MRC sum scores above 48. Standardized ENMG is helpful in guiding diagnosis when clinical evaluation is not reliable or possible. Elevated IL-6 at admission may be a predictor biomarker of ICU-AW in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Muscular Diseases , Polyneuropathies , Critical Illness , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Muscle Weakness/diagnosis , Muscle Weakness/etiology , Muscular Diseases/complications , Muscular Diseases/diagnosis , Polyneuropathies/complications , Polyneuropathies/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 33(2): 443-450, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The best policy to follow when nursing homes are massively hit by SARS-CoV2 is unclear. AIM: To describe COVID-19 containment in a nursing home transformed into a caring center. METHODS: Physicians and nurses were recruited. The facility was reorganized and connected with the laboratory of the reference hospital. Ultrasound was used to diagnose pneumonia. Patients needing intensive care were transferred to the reference hospital. Hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/enoxaparin were used initially, while amiodarone/enoxaparin were used at a later phase. Under both regimens, methylprednisolone was added for severe cases. Prophylaxis was done with hydroxychloroquine initially and then with amiodarone. PERIOD COVERED: March 22-July 31, 2020. RESULTS: The facility was reorganized in two days. Ninety-two guests of the 121 (76%) and 25 personnel of 118 (21.1%) became swab test positive. Seven swab test negative patients who developed symptoms were considered to have COVID-19. Twenty-seven patients died, 23 swab test positive, 5 of whom after full recovery. Four patients needing intensive care were transferred (3 died). Mortality, peaking in April 2020, was correlated with symptoms, comorbidities, dyspnea, fatigue, stupor/coma, high neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, pro-calcitonin, and high oxygen need (p ≤ 0.001 for all). Among swab-positive staff, 3 had pneumonia and recovered. Although no comparison could be made between different treatment and prophylaxis strategies, potentially useful suggestions emerged. Mortality compared well with that of nursing homes of the same area not transformed into care centers. CONCLUSION: Nursing homes massively hit by SARS-CoV-2 can become caring centers for patients not needing intensive care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine , Nursing Homes , RNA, Viral
5.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 110(7): 1063-1072, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044051

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has caused considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide and cardiac involvement has been reported during infection. The short-term cardiac outcome in survivors of COVID-19 is not known. OBJECTIVE: To examine the heart of patients who survived COVID-19 and to compare the cardiac outcome between patients who recovered from mild-to-moderate or severe illness. METHODS: With use of ECG and echocardiography, we examined the heart of 105 patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and were consecutively recruited after hospital discharge while attending follow-up visits. Survivors of COVID-19 were compared with 105 matched controls. We also compared the cardiac outcome and lung ultrasound scan between COVID-19 patients who had mild-to-moderate or severe illness. RESULTS: Cardiac data were collected a median of 41 days from the first detection of COVID-19. Symptoms were present in a low percentage of patients. In comparison with matched controls, no considerable structural or functional differences were observed in the heart of survivors of COVID-19. Lung ultrasound scan detected significantly greater residual pulmonary involvement in COVID-19 patients who had recovered from severe than mild-to-moderate illness. No significant differences were detected in ECG tracings nor were found in the left and right ventricular function of patients who had recovered from mild-to-moderate or severe illness. CONCLUSIONS: In a short-term follow-up, no abnormalities were identified in the heart of survivors of COVID-19, nor cardiac differences were detected between patients who had different severity of illness. With the limitations of a cross-sectional study, these findings suggest that patients who recover from COVID-19 do not have considerable cardiac sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Heart Diseases/physiopathology , Survivors , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Echocardiography , Electrocardiography , Female , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/virology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(10): ofaa421, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-756944

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia, progression to acute respiratory failure requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (MV) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Severe dysregulated systemic inflammation is the putative mechanism. We hypothesize that early prolonged methylprednisolone (MP) treatment could accelerate disease resolution, decreasing the need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mortality. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter observational study to explore the association between exposure to prolonged, low-dose MP treatment and need for ICU referral, intubation, or death within 28 days (composite primary end point) in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to Italian respiratory high-dependency units. Secondary outcomes were invasive MV-free days and changes in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. RESULTS: Findings are reported as MP (n = 83) vs control (n = 90). The composite primary end point was met by 19 vs 40 (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.41; 95% CI, 0.24-0.72). Transfer to ICU and invasive MV were necessary in 15 vs 27 (P = .07) and 14 vs 26 (P = .10), respectively. By day 28, the MP group had fewer deaths (6 vs 21; aHR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.12-0.73) and more days off invasive MV (24.0 ±â€…9.0 vs 17.5 ±â€…12.8; P = .001). Study treatment was associated with rapid improvement in PaO2:FiO2 and CRP levels. The complication rate was similar for the 2 groups (P = .84). CONCLUSION: In patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, early administration of prolonged MP treatment was associated with a significantly lower hazard of death (71%) and decreased ventilator dependence. Treatment was safe and did not impact viral clearance. A large randomized controlled trial (RECOVERY trial) has been performed that validates these findings. Clinical trial registration. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04323592.

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