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Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 62, 2021 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285187


BACKGROUND: Differential diagnosis of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult, due to similarities in clinical and radiological presentation between COVID-19 and other ILDs on the one hand, and frequent false-negative swab results on the other. We describe a rare form of interstitial and organizing pneumonia resembling COVID-19, emphasizing some key aspects to focus on to get the right diagnosis and treat the patient properly. CASE PRESENTATION: A 76-year-old man presented with short breath and dry cough in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. He showed bilateral crackles and interstitial-alveolar opacities on X-ray, corresponding on computed tomography (CT) to extensive consolidations with air bronchograms, surrounded by ground glass opacities (GGO). Although his throat-and-nasopharyngeal swab tested negative, the picture was overall compatible with COVID-19. On the other hand, he showed subacute, rather than hyperacute, clinical onset; few and stable parenchymal consolidations, rather than patchy and rapidly evolving GGO; pleural and pericardial thickening, pleural effusion, and lymph node enlargement, usually absent in COVID-19; and peripheral eosinophilia, rather than lymphopenia, suggestive of hypersensitivity. In the past year, he had been taking amiodarone for a history of ventricular ectopic beats. CT scans, in fact, highlighted hyperattenuation areas suggestive of amiodarone pulmonary accumulation and toxicity. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) investigation confirmed the absence of coronavirus genome in the lower respiratory tract; conversely, high numbers of foamy macrophages, eosinophils, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes with low CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio were detected, confirming the hypothesis of amiodarone-induced cryptogenic organizing pneumonia. Timely discontinuation of amiodarone and initiation of steroid therapy led to resolution of respiratory symptoms, systemic inflammation, and radiographic opacities. CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive analysis of medical and pharmacological history, clinical onset, radiologic details, and peripheral and BALF cellularity, is required for a correct differential diagnosis and management of ILDs in the COVID-19 era.

Amiodarone/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/diagnosis , Ventricular Premature Complexes/drug therapy , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/chemically induced , Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia/prevention & control , Diagnosis, Differential , Humans , Male , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(1): e23582, 2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024157


ABSTRACT: COVID-19 is causing a high influx of patients suffering from serious respiratory complications leading the necessity to find effective therapies. These patients seem to present with cytokine perturbation and high levels of IL6. Tocilizumab and sarilumab could be effective in this condition.We retrospectively collected data about 112 consecutive hospitalized in a single center.Fifty (IL6 group) treated with tocilizumab (8 mg/kg intravenously [IV], 2 infusions 12 hours apart) or sarilumab 400 mg IV once and 62 treated with the standard of care but not anti-cytokine drugs (CONTROL group).To determine whether anti-IL6 drugs are effective in improving prognosis and reducing hospitalization times and mortality in COVID-19 pneumonia.To date 84% (42/50) of IL6 group patients have already been discharged and only 2/50 are still recovered and intubated in intensive care. Six/fifty patients (12%) died: 5/6 due to severe respiratory failure within a framework of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), 1 suffered an acute myocardial infarction, and 1 died of massive pulmonary thromboembolism. There were no adverse treatment events or infectious complications. Compared to the CONTROL group they showed a lower mortality rate (12% versus 43%), for the same number of complications and days of hospitalization.Anti-IL6 drugs seem to be effective in the treatment of medium to severe forms of COVID-19 pneumonia reducing the risk of mortality due to multi-organ failure, acting at the systemic level and reducing inflammation levels and therefore microvascular complications. However, it is essential to identify the best time for treatment, which, if delayed, is rendered useless as well as counterproductive. Further studies and ongoing clinical trials will help us to better define patients eligible as candidates for more aggressive intervention.

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2