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1.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674597

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, forensic sciences, on the one hand, contributed to gaining knowledge about different aspects of the pandemic, while on the other hand, forensic professionals were called on to quickly adapt their activities to respond adequately to the changes imposed by the pandemic. This review aims to clarify the state of the art in forensic medicine at the time of COVID-19, discussing the following: the influence of external factors on forensic activities, the impact of autopsy practice on COVID-19 and vice-versa, the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in post-mortem samples, forensic personnel activities during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the global vaccination program and forensic sciences, forensic undergraduate education during and after the imposed COVID-19 lockdown, and the medico-legal implications in medical malpractice claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly influenced different aspects of human life, and, accordingly, the practical activities of forensic sciences that are defined as multidisciplinary, involving different expertise. Indeed, the activities are very different, including crime scene investigation (CSI), external examination, autopsy, and genetic and toxicological examinations of tissues and/or biological fluids. At the same time, forensic professionals may have direct contact with subjects in life, such as in the case of abuse victims (in some cases involving children), collecting biological samples from suspects, or visiting subjects in the case of physical examinations. In this scenario, forensic professionals are called on to implement methods to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 infection risk, wearing adequate PPE, and working in environments with a reduced risk of infection. Consequently, in the pandemic era, the costs involved for forensic sciences were substantially increased.

2.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667120

ABSTRACT

Health risks within prisons are well known and have worsened with the 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), becoming a public health emergency. To date, there are more than 10 million inmates in the world; in most cases, conditions are bad and health care is scarce. A SARS-CoV-2 outbreak inside a prison is extremely rapid. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze all possible prevention techniques to reduce the risk of COVID-19 related infection within prisons. A systematic review of the literature was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar were used as search engines from 1 January 2020 to 1 November 2021 to evaluate the prevention of COVID-19 in prisoners. A total of 1757 articles were collected. Of them, 486 duplicates were removed. A total of 1250 articles did not meet the inclusion criteria. In conclusion, 21 articles were included in the present systematic review. From this analysis, it emerged that the most common COVID-19 prevention methods were the screening of the entire population (prisoners and workers) inside the prison through swab analysis and the reduction in overcrowding in prisons. Few studies concerned the prevention of COVID-19 infection through vaccination and the implementation of quarantine. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that evaluates the prevention of COVID-19 within jails and the real effectiveness of all possible methods used and published in the literature. Finally, a very useful strategic protocol is provided to reduce the incidence of infection and to control and manage COVID-19 in prisons.

3.
Pathol Res Pract ; 231: 153796, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665390

ABSTRACT

This case report describes a fatal case of a young woman with superior sagittal, transverse and sigmoid sinus thrombosis after administration of the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination. Eleven days post-vaccination she was found unconscious and transferred to the Emergency Department. Blood parameters showed low platelets, and a CT scan showed an extensive left intracranial hemorrhage and the presence of an occlusive thrombus of the superior sagittal sinus. She under-went a craniectomy, but after the intervention, she remained in a comatose state. After a few days, her clinical conditions worsened, and she died. A complete autopsy was performed which showed a thrombosis of the cerebral venous district, of the upper and lower limbs. A blood sample was also performed to carry out a gene study about the predisposition to thrombosis. The organ samples were studied through light microscope both in hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemical examination, and showed a strong inflammatory response in all samples and at the site of thrombosis. Our study aims to provide a proper autopsy technique to study the entire cerebral venous system through a multidisciplinary approach (anatomical dissection and neurosurgery) in post-vaccine venous thrombosis.


Subject(s)
/adverse effects , Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial/etiology , Thrombocytopenia/etiology , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Fatal Outcome , Female , Humans
4.
Phlebology ; 37(3): 180-187, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651054

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a new and rare syndrome resulting from the largest vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 in the history of mankind. The aim of this review is to clarify underlying mechanisms, pathology, diagnosis, and therapy, with the related clinical implications. METHODS: We performed a comprehensive literature review in order to collect the clinical and treatment data about patients suffering from VITT. PubMed, Ovid Medline, Ovid EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science were screened regarding patients who developed VITT. Last search was launched on June 30th 2021. RESULTS: Abdominal and/or neurological symptoms develop between 5 and 20 days after vaccine administration and do not involve the lower extremities. VITT is suspected if the platelet count is lower than 100.000/mm3 and D-dimer is higher than the age-adjusted range. Medical treatment is mainly based on intravenous immunoglobulins, corticosteroids, and anticoagulant drugs with a short plasma half-life, but the complete avoidance of low molecular weight heparin is recommended. Endovascular treatment and/or decompressive craniectomy might be an option in a minority of cases. CONCLUSION: Due to widespread vaccination concerns, the vascular specialist and phlebologist are increasingly consulted to prevent or diagnose VITT. The latter has peculiar and completely different localizations, symptoms, and treatment compared to the common pictures of venous thrombosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Vaccines , Venous Thrombosis , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines/adverse effects , Venous Thrombosis/etiology
5.
J Clin Med ; 10(24)2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572532

ABSTRACT

The current challenge worldwide is the administration of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine. Considering that the COVID-19 vaccination represents the best possibility to resolve this pandemic, this systematic review aims to clarify the major aspects of fatal adverse effects related to COVID-19 vaccines, with the goal of advancing our knowledge, supporting decisions, or suggesting changes in policies at local, regional, and global levels. Moreover, this review aims to provide key recommendations to improve awareness of vaccine safety. All studies published up to 2 December 2021 were searched using the following keywords: "COVID-19 Vaccine", "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine", "COVID-19 Vaccination", "SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination", and "Autopsy" or "Post-mortem". We included 17 papers published with fatal cases with post-mortem investigations. A total of 38 cases were analyzed: 22 cases were related to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 administration, 10 cases to BNT162b2, 4 cases to mRNA-1273, and 2 cases to Ad26.COV2.S. Based on these data, autopsy is very useful to define the main characteristics of the so-called vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination: recurrent findings were intracranial hemorrhage and diffused microthrombi located in multiple areas. Moreover, it is fundamental to provide evidence about myocarditis related to the BNT162B2 vaccine. Finally, based on the discussed data, we suggest several key recommendations to improve awareness of vaccine safety.

6.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512138

ABSTRACT

Molecular chaperones, many of which are heat shock proteins, play a role in cell stress response and regulate the immune system in various ways, such as in inflammatory/autoimmune reactions. It would be interesting to study the involvement of these molecules in the damage done to COVID-19-infected lungs. In our study, we performed a histological analysis and an immunomorphological evaluation on lung samples from subjects who succumbed to COVID-19 and subjects who died from other causes. We also assessed Hsp60 and Hsp90 distribution in lung samples to determine their location and post-translational modifications. We found histological alterations that could be considered pathognomonic for COVID-19-related lung disease. Hsp60 and Hsp90 immunopositivity was significantly higher in the COVID-19 group compared to the controls, and immunolocalization was in the plasma membrane of the endothelial cells in COVID-19 subjects. The colocalization ratios for Hsp60/3-nitrotyrosine and Hsp60/acetylate-lisine were significantly increased in the COVID-19 group compared to the control group, similar to the colocalization ratio for Hsp90/acetylate-lisine. The histological and immunohistochemical findings led us to hypothesize that Hsp60 and Hsp90 might have a role in the onset of the thromboembolic phenomena that lead to death in a limited number of subjects affected by COVID-19. Further studies on a larger number of samples obtained from autopsies would allow to confirm these data as well as discover new biomarkers useful in the battle against this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Adult , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Lung/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470807

ABSTRACT

To date, little is known regarding the transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection for subjects involved in handling, transporting, and examining deceased persons with known or suspected COVID-19 positivity at the time of death. This experimental study aims to define if and/or how long SARS-CoV-2 persists with replication capacity in the tissues of individuals who died with/from COVID-19, thereby generating infectious hazards. Sixteen patients who died with/from COVID-19 who underwent autopsy between April 2020 and April 2021 were included in this study. Based on PMI, all samples were subdivided into two groups: 'short PMI' group (eight subjects who were autopsied between 12 to 72 h after death); 'long PMI' (eight subjects who were autopsied between 24 to 78 days after death). All patients tested positive for RT-PCR at nasopharyngeal swab both before death and on samples collected during post-mortem investigation. Moreover, a lung specimen was collected and frozen at -80 °C in order to perform viral culture. The result was defined based on the cytopathic effect (subjective reading) combined with the positivity of the RT-PCR test (objective reading) in the supernatant. Only in one sample (PMI 12 h), virus vitality was demonstrated. This study, supported by a literature review, suggests that the risk of cadaveric infection in cases of a person who died from/with COVID-19 is extremely low in the first hours after death, becoming null after 12 h after death, confirming the World Health Organization (WHO) assumed in March 2020 and suggesting that the corpse of a subject who died from/with COVID-19 should be generally considered not infectious.

8.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(7)2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288828

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unexpected death toll worldwide. Even though several guidelines for the management of infectious corpses have been proposed, the limited number of post-mortem analyses during the pandemic has led to inaccuracies in the counting of COVID-19 deaths and contributed to a lack of important information about the pathophysiology of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Due to the impossibility of carrying out autopsies on all corpses, the scientific community has raised the question of whether confirmatory analyses could be performed on exhumed bodies after a long period of burial to assess the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Post-mortem lung samples were collected from 16 patients who died from COVID-19 infection and were buried for a long period of time. A custom RNA extraction protocol was developed to enhance extraction of viral RNA from degraded samples and highly sensitive molecular methods, including RT-qPCR and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), were used to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The custom extraction protocol developed allowed us to extract total RNA effectively from all lung samples collected. SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was effectively detected in all samples by both RT-qPCR and ddPCR, regardless of the length of burial. ddPCR results confirmed the persistence of the virus in this anatomical niche and revealed high viral loads in some lung samples, suggesting active infection at the time of death. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the lung even after a long post-mortem interval (up to 78 days). The extraction protocol herein described, and the highly sensitive molecular analyses performed, could represent the standard procedures for SARS-CoV-2 detection in degraded lung specimens. Finally, the innovative results obtained encourage post-mortem confirmatory analyses even after a long post-mortem interval.

9.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243964

ABSTRACT

The current challenge worldwide is the administration of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines. Even if rarely, severe vascular adverse reactions temporally related to vaccine administration have induced diffidence in the population at large. In particular, researchers worldwide are focusing on the so-called "thrombosis and thrombocytopenia after COVID-19 vaccination". This study aims to establish a practical workflow to define the relationship between adverse events following immunization (AEFI) and COVID-19 vaccination, following the basic framework of the World Health Organization (WHO). Post-mortem investigation plays a pivotal role to support this causality relationship when death occurs. To demonstrate the usefulness and feasibility of the proposed workflow, we applied it to two exemplificative cases of suspected AEFI following COVID-19 vaccination. Based on the proposed model, we took into consideration any possible causality relationship between COVID-19 vaccine administration and AEFI. This led us to conclude that vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCov-19 may cause the rare development of immune thrombocytopenia mediated by platelet-activating antibodies against platelet factor 4 (PF4), which clinically mimics heparin-induced autoimmune thrombocytopenia. We suggest the adoption of the proposed methodology in order to confirm or rule out a causal relationship between vaccination and the occurrence of AEFI.

10.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(3)2021 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160481

ABSTRACT

To date, there is poor evidence on the transmission of infection in individuals handling the bodies of deceased persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 and in particular, during autopsies. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that when appropriate strategies are adopted autopsy is a safe procedure with a minimal infection risk for all subjects involved (pathologists, technical personnel, and others) when proper strategies are adopted. We performed 16 autopsies on cadavers of persons who had died with confirmed COVID-19 with different post-mortem intervals (PMI). To confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, for each autopsy, 2 swabs were sampled from lungs, while to evaluate environmental contamination, 11 swabs were taken at three different times: T0 (before autopsy), T1 (at the end of the autopsy, without removing the corpse), and T2 (after cleaning and disinfecting the autopsy room). Specifically, 2 swabs were sampled on face shields used by each pathologist, and 4 swabs were collected on the autopsy table; 4 swabs were also collected from walls and 1 from floor. Lung swabs confirmed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in all cases. Environmental swabs, collected at T0 and T2 were all negative, while swabs sampled at T1 were shown to be positive. Interestingly, no association was shown between PMI length and environmental contamination. Infection control strategies for safe management of clinical forensic autopsies of bodies with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are also described.

11.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(4)2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154450

ABSTRACT

In the last two decades, three unknown pathogens have caused outbreaks, generating severe global health concerns. In 2003, after nucleic acid genotyping, a new virus was named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). After nine years, another coronavirus emerged in the middle east and was named MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus). Finally, in December 2019, a new unknown coronavirus was isolated from a cluster of patients and was named SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019). This review aims to propose a complete overview of autopsy in the three coronaviruses over the past two decades, showing its pivotal role in the management of unknown diseases. A total of 116 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria: 14 studies were collected concerning SARS-CoV (87 autopsy reports, from Asian and American countries), 2 studies for MERS-CoV (2 autopsy reports, from Middle-East Asian countries), and 100 studies on SARS-CoV-2 (930 autopsy reports). Analyzing the data obtained on COVID-19, based on the country criterion, a large number of post-mortem investigation were performed in European countries (580 reports), followed by American countries (251 reports). It is interesting to note that no data were found from the Oceanic countries, maybe because of the minor involvement of the outbreak. In all cases, autopsy provided much information about each unknown coronavirus. Despite advanced technologies in the diagnostic fields, to date, autopsy remains the gold standard method to understand the biological features and the pathogenesis of unknown infections, especially when awareness of a pathogen is restricted and the impact on the healthcare system is substantial. The knowledge gained through this technique may positively influence therapeutic strategies, ultimately reducing mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Autopsy , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Nutrients ; 13(3)2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138747

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared on the world scene, which mainly affects the respiratory system, causing pneumonia and multi-organ failure, and, although it starts with common symptoms such as shortness of breath and fever, in about 2-3% of cases it leads to death. Unfortunately, to date, no specific treatments have been found for the cure of this virus and, therefore, it is advisable to implement all possible strategies in order to prevent infection. In this context, it is important to better define the role of all behaviors, in particular nutrition, in order to establish whether these can both prevent infection and improve the outcome of the disease in patients with COVID-19. In the literature, it is widely shown that states of malnutrition, overweight, and obesity negatively affect the immune system, leading to viral infections, and several studies have shown that nutritional interventions can act as immunostimulators, helping to prevent viral infections. Even if several measures, such as the assumption of a specific diet regimen, the use of dietary supplements, and other similar interventions, are promising for the prevention, management, and recovery of COVID-19 patients, it is important to highlight that strong data from randomized clinical trials are needed to support any such assumption. Considering this particular scenario, we present a literature review addressing several important aspects related to diet and SARS-CoV-2 infection, in order to highlight the importance of diet and supplementation in prevention and management of, as well as recovery from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Dietary Supplements , Nutritional Status , Diet , Humans
13.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 56(12)2020 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024601

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infectious disease, responsible for a global pandemic that began in January 2020. Human/COVID-19 interactions cause different outcomes ranging from minor health consequences to death. Since social interaction is the default mode by which individuals communicate with their surroundings, different modes of contagion can play a role in determining the long-term consequences for mental health and emotional well-being. We examined some basic aspects of human social interaction, emphasizing some particular features of the emotional contagion. Moreover, we analyzed the main report that described brain damage related to the COVID-19 infection. Indeed, the goal of this review is to suggest a possible explanation for the relationships among emotionally impaired people, brain damage, and COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: COVID-19 can cause several significant neurological disorders and the pandemic has been linked to a rise in people reporting mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Neurocognitive symptoms associated with COVID-19 include delirium, both acute and chronic attention and memory impairment related to hippocampal and cortical damage, as well as learning deficits in both adults and children. CONCLUSIONS: Although our knowledge on the biology and long-term clinical outcomes of the COVID-19 infection is largely limited, approaching the pandemic based on lessons learnt from previous outbreaks of infectious diseases and the biology of other coronaviruses will provide a suitable pathway for developing public mental health strategies, which could be positively translated into therapeutic approaches, attempting to improve stress coping responses, thus contributing to alleviate the burden driven by the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/virology , COVID-19 , Mental Health , Psychological Distress , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/psychology , Humans
14.
Microorganisms ; 8(11)2020 Oct 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895388

ABSTRACT

Despite safety recommendations for the management of corpses with COVID-19 infection and the high number of deaths worldwide, the post-mortem investigation rate is extremely low as well as the scientific contributions describing the pathological features. The first results of post-mortem investigations provided interesting findings and contributed to promoting unexplored therapeutic approaches and new frontiers of research. A systematic review is provided with the aim of summarizing all autopsy studies up to February 2020 in which a complete post-mortem investigation in patients with COVID-19 disease was performed, focusing on histopathological features. We included case reports, case series, retrospective and prospective studies, letters to the editor, and reviews. A total of 28 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, producing a pooled dataset of 407 full autopsies. Analyzing the medical history data, only 12 subjects had died without any comorbidities (for 15 cases the data were not available). The post-mortem investigation highlighted that acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure represent the main clinical features of COVID-19 disease, often leading to pulmonary thromboembolism and superimposed bronchopneumonia. The discussed data showed a strict relationship among the inflammatory processes, diffuse alveolar, and endothelial damage. In light of these results, the full autopsy can be considered as the gold standard to investigate unknown infections or pathogens resulting in death.

15.
J Clin Med ; 9(7)2020 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854152

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 was identified for the first time in China, in December 2019. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported around the world; indeed, this infection has been declared a pandemic. Consequently, the scientific community is working hard to gain useful information about the history of this virus, its transmission, diagnosis, clinical features, radiological findings, research and development of candidate therapeutics as well as vaccines. This review aims to analyze the diagnostic techniques used to ascertain the COVID-19 infection, critically reviewing positive points and criticism for forensic implications, obviously including autopsy. Finally, this review proposes a practical workflow to be applied in the management of corpses during this outbreak of the COVID-19 infection, which could be useful in cases of future infectious disease emergencies. Analyzing the diagnostic methods, to date, virus nucleic acid RT-PCR represents the standard method used to ascertain the COVID-19 infection in living subjects and corpses, even if this technique has several criticisms: mainly, the staff should be highly specialized, working in high-throughput settings, able to handle high workloads and aware of health risks and the importance of the results. Thus, IgG/IgM serological tests have been developed, overcoming RT-qPCR duration, costs, and management, not requiring highly trained personnel. Nevertheless, serological tests present problems; the WHO recommends the use of these new point-of-care immunodiagnostic tests only in research settings. Furthermore, nothing has yet been published regarding the possibility of applying these methods during post-mortem investigations. In light of this scenario, in this review, we suggest a flow chart for the pathologist called on to ascertain the cause of death of a subject with historical and clinical findings of COVID-19 status or without any anamnestic, diagnostic, or exposure information. Indeed, the literature data confirmed the analytical vulnerabilities of the kits used for laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, particularly during postmortem examinations. For these reasons, autopsy remains the gold standard method to ascertain the exact cause of death (from or with COVID-19 infection, or other causes), to consequently provide real data for statistical evaluations and to take necessary measures to contain the risks of the infection. Moreover, performing autopsies could provide information on the pathogenesis of the COVID-19 infection with obvious therapeutic implications.

16.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 10(8)2020 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854079

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: The current outbreak of COVID-19 infection is an ongoing challenge and a major threat to public health that requires surveillance, prompt diagnosis, as well as research efforts to understand the viral pathogenesis. Despite this, to date, very few studies have been performed concerning autoptic specimens. Therefore, this study aimed: (i) to reiterate the importance of the autoptic examination, the only method able to precisely define the cause of death; (ii) to provide a complete post-mortem histological and immunohistochemical investigation pattern capable of diagnosing death from COVID-19 infection. (2) Methods: In this paper, the lung examination of two subjects who died from COVID-19 are discussed, comparing the obtained data with those of the control, a newborn who died from pneumonia in the same pandemic period. (3) Results: The results of the present study suggest that COVID-19 infection can cause different forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), due to diffuse alveolar damage and diffuse endothelial damage. Nevertheless, different patterns of cellular and cytokine expression are associated with anti-COVID-19 antibody positivity, compared to the control case. Moreover, in both case studies, it is interesting to note that COVID-19, ACE2 and FVIII positivity was detected in the same fields. (4) Conclusions: COVID-19 infection has been initially classified as exclusively interstitial pneumonia with varying degrees of severity. Subsequently, vascular biomarkers showed that it can also be considered a vascular disease. The data on Factor VIII discussed in this paper, although preliminary and limited in number, seem to suggest that the thrombogenicity of Sars-CoV2 infection might be linked to widespread endothelial damage. In this way, it would be very important to investigate the pro-coagulative substrate both in all subjects who died and in COVID-19 survivors. This is because it may be hypothesized that the different patterns with which the pathology is expressed could depend on different individual susceptibility to infection or a different personal genetic-clinical background. In light of these findings, it would be important to perform more post-mortem investigations in order to clarify all aspects of the vascular hypothesis in the COVID-19 infection.

17.
Eur Urol Focus ; 6(5): 1032-1048, 2020 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-437422

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: The unprecedented health care scenario caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revolutionized urology practice worldwide. OBJECTIVE: To review the recommendations by the international and European national urological associations/societies (UASs) on prioritization strategies for both oncological and nononcological procedures released during the current emergency scenario. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Each UAS official website was searched between April 8 and 18, 2020, to retrieve any document, publication, or position paper on prioritization strategies regarding both diagnostic and therapeutic urological procedures, and any recommendations on the use of telemedicine and minimally invasive surgery. We collected detailed information on all urological procedures, stratified by disease, priority (higher vs lower), and patient setting (outpatient vs inpatient). Then, we critically discussed the implications of such recommendations for urology practice in both the forthcoming "adaptive" and the future "chronic" phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Overall, we analyzed the recommendations from 13 UASs, of which four were international (American Urological Association, Confederation Americana de Urologia, European Association of Urology, and Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand) and nine national (from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, The Netherlands, and the UK). In the outpatient setting, the procedures that are likely to impact the future burden of urologists' workload most are prostate biopsies and elective procedures for benign conditions. In the inpatient setting, the most relevant contributors to this burden are represented by elective surgeries for lower-risk prostate and renal cancers, nonobstructing stone disease, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Finally, some UASs recommended special precautions to perform minimally invasive surgery, while others outlined the potential role of telemedicine to optimize resources in the current and future scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: The expected changes will put significant strain on urological units worldwide regarding the overall workload of urologists, internal logistics, inflow of surgical patients, and waiting lists. In light of these predictions, urologists should strive to leverage this emergency period to reshape their role in the future. PATIENT SUMMARY: Overall, there was a large consensus among different urological associations/societies regarding the prioritization of most urological procedures, including those in the outpatient setting, urological emergencies, and many inpatient surgeries for both oncological and nononcological conditions. On the contrary, some differences were found regarding specific cancer surgeries (ie, radical cystectomy for higher-risk bladder cancer and nephrectomy for larger organ-confined renal masses), potentially due to different prioritization criteria and/or health care contexts. In the future, the outpatient procedures that are likely to impact the burden of urologists' workload most are prostate biopsies and elective procedures for benign conditions. In the inpatient setting, the most relevant contributors to this burden are represented by elective surgeries for lower-risk prostate and renal cancers, nonobstructing stone disease, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Urologic Neoplasms/diagnosis , Urologic Neoplasms/therapy , Urology/trends , Ambulatory Care/trends , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Europe/epidemiology , Forecasting , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Societies, Medical , Telemedicine/trends , Urologic Diseases/diagnosis , Urologic Diseases/therapy , Urologic Surgical Procedures/trends , Urology/organization & administration , Urology/standards
18.
J Clin Med ; 9(5)2020 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260598

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current outbreak of COVID-19 infection, which started in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, in December 2019, is an ongoing challenge and a significant threat to public health requiring surveillance, prompt diagnosis, and research efforts to understand a new, emergent, and unknown pathogen and to develop effective therapies. Despite the increasing number of published studies on COVID-19, in all the examined studies the lack of a well-defined pathophysiology of death among patients who died following COVID-19 infection is evident. Autopsy should be considered mandatory to define the exact cause of death, thus providing useful clinical and epidemiologic information as well as pathophysiological insights to further provide therapeutic tools. METHODS: A literature review was performed on PubMed database, using the key terms: "COVID-19", "nCov 19", and "Sars Cov 2". 9709 articles were retrieved; by excluding all duplicated articles, additional criteria were then applied: articles or abstracts in English and articles containing one of the following words: "death", "died", "comorbidity", "cause of death", "biopsy", "autopsy", or "pathological". RESULTS: A total of 50 articles met the inclusion criteria. However, only 7 of these studies reported autopsy-based data. DISCUSSION: The analysis of the main data from the selected studies concerns the complete analysis of 12,954 patients, of whom 2269 died (with a mortality rate of 17.52%). Laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection was obtained in all cases and comorbidities were fully reported in 46 studies. The most common comorbidities were: cardiovascular diseases (hypertension and coronary artery disease), metabolic disorders (diabetes, overweight, or obesity), respiratory disorders (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and cancer. The most common reported complications were: acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute kidney injury, cardiac injury, liver insufficiency, and septic shock. Only 7 papers reported histological investigations. Nevertheless, only two complete autopsies are described and the cause of death was listed as COVID-19 in only one of them. The lack of postmortem investigation did not allow a definition of the exact cause of death to determine the pathways of this infection. Based on the few histopathological findings reported in the analyzed studies, it seems to be a clear alteration of the coagulation system: frequently prothrombotic activity with consequent thromboembolism was described in COVID-19 patients. As a scientific community, we are called on to face this global threat, and to defeat it with all the available tools necessary. Despite the improvement and reinforcement of any method of study in every field of medicine and science, encouraging the autopsy practice as a tool of investigation could also therefore, help physicians to define an effective treatment to reduce mortality.

19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(9)2020 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133432

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On the 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The infection spread first in China and then in the rest of the world, and on the 11th of March, the WHO declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic. Taking into consideration the mortality rate of COVID-19, about 5-7%, and the percentage of positive patients admitted to intensive care units being 9-11%, it should be mandatory to consider and take all necessary measures to contain the COVID-19 infection. Moreover, given the recent evidence in different hospitals suggesting IL-6 and TNF-α inhibitor drugs as a possible therapy for COVID-19, we aimed to highlight that a dietary intervention could be useful to prevent the infection and/or to ameliorate the outcomes during therapy. Considering that the COVID-19 infection can generate a mild or highly acute respiratory syndrome with a consequent release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and TNF-α, a dietary regimen modification in order to improve the levels of adiponectin could be very useful both to prevent the infection and to take care of patients, improving their outcomes.


Subject(s)
Antioxidants/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Diet , Dietary Supplements , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adiponectin/metabolism , Ascorbic Acid/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Fatty Acids, Omega-3/administration & dosage , Fatty Acids, Omega-3/metabolism , Flavonoids/administration & dosage , Humans , Interleukin-6/immunology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lung Diseases/immunology , Lung Diseases/metabolism , Lung Diseases/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
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