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1.
Pathogens ; 11(7)2022 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1928621

ABSTRACT

The vaccination campaign and the new SARS-CoV-2 variants may have changed the clinical profile and outcomes of patients admitted to sub-intensive unit care. We conducted a retrospective study aimed to compare the clinical and radiological features of unvaccinated critical COVID-19 patients hospitalized during the last pandemic wave (December 2021-February 2022, No-Vax group) and before starting the vaccination campaign (March-December 2020, Pre-Vax group). The No-Vax group was also compared with vaccinated patients of the same pandemic wave (Vax group). With respect to the Pre-Vax group, the No-Vax group contained a higher percentage of smokers (p = 0.0007) and a lower prevalence of males (p = 0.0003). At admission, the No-Vax patients showed both a higher CT score of pneumonia and a worse severe respiratory failure (p < 0.0001). In the No-Vax group, a higher percentage of deaths occurred, though this was not significant. In comparison with the No-Vax group, the Vax patients were older (p = 0.0097), with a higher Charlson comorbidity index (p < 0.0001) and a significantly lower HRCT score (p = 0.0015). The percentage of deaths was not different between the two groups. The No-Vax patients showed a more severe disease in comparison with the Pre-Vax patients, and were younger and had fewer comorbidities than the Vax patients.

2.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(6)2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The intermittent abdominal pressure ventilation (IAPV) is a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) technique that avoids facial interfaces and is a diurnal ventilatory support alternative for neuromuscular patients during stable chronic phases of the disease. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel infection possibly causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) and preexisting respiratory failure can be exacerbated by respiratory infection and progress to severe disease and ICU admission with a poor prognosis. AIM: To report on the versatility and feasibility of IAPV in acute restrictive respiratory failure exacerbated by COVID-19. PATIENT: We describe the case of a 33-year-old man with spastic tetraparesis, kyphoscoliosis, and impaired cough, eventually leading to a restrictive ventilation pattern. COVID-19 exacerbated respiratory failure and seizures. An NIV trial failed because of inadequate interface adhesion and intolerance. During NIV, dyspnea and seizures worsened. He underwent a high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) with a fluctuating benefit on gas exchange. IAPV was initiated and although there was a lack of cooperation and inability to sit; the compliance was good and a progressive improvement of gas exchange, respiratory rate, and dyspnea was observed. CONCLUSIONS: IAPV is a versatile type of NIV that can be adopted in complicated restrictive respiratory failure. COVID-19 exacerbates preexisting conditions and is destined to be a disease of frailty. COVID-19 is not a contraindication to IAPV and this kind of ventilation can be employed in selected cases in a specialistic setting. Moreover, this report suggests that IAPV is safe when used in combination with HFNC. This hybrid approach provides the opportunity to benefit from both therapies, and, in this particular case, prevented the intubation with all connected risks.

3.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 14: 2857-2861, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477661

ABSTRACT

Gastrointestinal involvement in SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) can occur and evolve fatally. Reports are emerging that SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks the pancreatic cells, causing the boost of amylase and lipase serum activity and rarely frank pancreatitis. We retrospectively assessed all the patients admitted to the respiratory sub-intensive care and evaluated pancreatitis cases and their course. In our study, we included all patients admitted to our respiratory sub-intensive care unit from 1st to 30th November. All patients had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and a CT finding of interstitial pneumonia associated with signs of respiratory failure. We observed the course and evaluated who developed acute pancreatitis according to standard definitions. In this study, etiology of acute pancreatitis was defined on the basis of risk factors (ie, biliary pancreatitis was defined in presence of common bile duct stone or sludge at CT or MR). According to the Revised Atlanta Classification, we diagnosed and classified the patients and evaluated the radiological severity according to the Balthazar index and a computed tomography severity index. We found that 19% (15 of 78 patients) met the criteria for acute pancreatitis. The mortality rate among patients with pancreatitis was 20%. Interestingly, in our population, cholelithiasis' imaging findings were found in only 7% of the patients, whereas no patient-reported alcohol consumption. Considering that alcohol and biliary stones represent the two major causes of AP in the general population, it is reasonable to hypothesize that SARS-CoV-2 could play a role in the etiology of acute pancreatitis in a subgroup of these patients.

4.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(9)2021 Aug 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antiviral treatment is a hot topic regarding therapy for COVID-19. Several antiviral drugs have been tested in the months since the pandemic began. Yet only Remdesivir obtained approval after first trials. The best time to administer Remdesivir is still a matter for discussion and this could also depend upon the severity of lung damage and the staging of the infection. METHODS: We performed a real-life study of patients hospitalized forCOVID-19 and receiving non-invasive ventilation (NIV). In this single-center study, a 5 day course of Remdesivir was administered as compassionate use. Further therapeutic supports included antibiotics, low molecular weight heparin and steroids. Data collection included clinical signs and symptoms, gas exchange, laboratory markers of inflammation, and radiological findings. Major outcomes were de-escalation of oxygen-support requirements, clinical improvement defined by weaning from ventilation to oxygen therapy or discharge, and mortality. Adverse drug reactions were also recorded. All data were collected during hospitalization and during a 20-day follow up after treatment. RESULTS: 51 patients were enrolled. A global clinical improvement was recorded in 22 patients (43%) at 12 days, and 36 (71%) at 20 days; in particular, at 12 days, 27 patients (53%) also had a de-escalation of oxygen-support class from a therapeutic point of view. Remdesivir use was associated with a lower hazard ratio for clinical improvement in the elderly (older than 70 years) and in subjects with more extensive lung involvement (total severity score at HRCT of more than 14). The 20-day mortality was 13%. CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrated that Remdesivir is associated with an improvement in clinical, laboratory and radiological parameters in patients with severe COVID-19 and showed an overall mortality of 13%. We conclude that, in this cohort, Remdesivir was a beneficial add-on therapy for severe COVID-19, especially in adults with moderate lung involvement at HRCT.

5.
Turk Thorac J ; 22(1): 57-61, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285478

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Prone positioning (PP) has demonstrated to be a safe adjunctive therapy for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). There is limited evidence of PP effects on awake patients. This study aimed to investigate the effects and feasibility of PP on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated awake patients with ARDS in a subintensive setting of care. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This is a single-center case-control study involving patients with severe COVID-19 infection. A total of 29 patients underwent noninvasive ventilation, and PP was initiated 12 h from admission; 18 patients tolerated prone and side positioning for at least 10 h/d and cycled their position every 2 h, and 11 patients had no complaints with PP. RESULTS: A total of 29 patients (25 men and 4 women) with a median age of 64 years showed the average baseline white blood cell count of 8.45×109 cells/L, C-reactive protein of 10.1 mg/L, lactate dehydrogenase of 366 mU/mL, and interleukin-6 of 172 pg/mL. Basal pO2/FiO2 ratio (P/F) was 95 (±56.5) and showed no linear correlation with any of the inflammatory markers tested. Computed tomography findings included ground-glass opacities in 100% (29/29) of patients. Consolidation/atelectasis was found in 58% (17/29) of patients. P/F was homogeneously distributed at baseline in patients with PP (96.5) and without PP (95). P/F during PP increased significantly compared with noncompliant controls (288 vs. 202; p=0.0002). Total duration of respiratory failure was significantly shorter in patients with PP (14 vs. 21 days; p=0.002). The number of days to recover from respiratory failure inversely correlated with PP P/F independently from baseline P/F. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 can lead to a severe impairment of gas exchange regardless of inflammatory status. Therefore, respiratory support may play a major role in COVID-19 treatment. We documented substantial efficacy of PP when started early and for at least 10 h/d. On awake patients, PP feasibility strictly depends on patient's compliance. The interface should be carefully chosen to best fit every patient.

6.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(6)2021 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema and pneumothorax are not rarely observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such complications can worsen gas exchange and the overall prognosis in critical patients. The aim of this study is to investigate what predisposing factors are related to pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax in SARS-CoV2-Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), what symptoms may predict a severe and potentially fatal complication and what therapeutical approach may provide a better outcome. METHODS: In this single center cohort study, we recorded data from 45 critically ill COVID-19 patients who developed one or more complicating events among pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema and pneumothorax. All patients showed ARDS and underwent non-invasive ventilation (NIV) at baseline. Patients with mild to moderate ARDS and pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax (n = 25) received High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC), while patients with severe ARDS and pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax underwent HFNC (n = 10) or invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) (n = 10). RESULTS: Pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax developed in 10.5% of subjects affected by SARS-coV2-ARDS. Dyspnea affected 40% and cough affected 37% of subjects. High resolution computed tomography of the chest showed bilateral diffuse ground glass opacities (GGO) in 100% of subjects. Traction bronchiolectasis, reticulation, crazy paving and distortion were observed in 64%. Furthermore, 36% showed subcutaneous emphysema. Non-severe ARDS cases received HFNC, and 76% patients recovered from pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax over a median follow up of 5 days. Among severe ARDS cases the recovery rate of pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax was 70% with the HFNC approach, and 10% with IMV. CONCLUSION: HFNC is a safe and effective ventilatory approach for critical COVID-19 and has a positive role in associated complications such as pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax.

7.
Pathogens ; 10(4)2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Home treatment of patients affected by COVID-19 is still a matter of daily debate. During the clinical evolution of the disease, there are high risks of lung failure, which requires oxygen therapy. Here, we report our clinical experience with at-home treatment using high-flow nasal cannula in non-hospitalised patients with confirmed COVID-19. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this study, 18 patients with moderate-to-severe respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19 were monitored at home daily for temperature and SpO2 measurements. Other parameters such as saturation of peripheral oxygen (SpO2), SpO2/FiO2 (fraction of inspired oxygen), temperature, and lung performance were monitored periodically. Depending on oxygen requirements, the patients also received either standard oxygen via a face mask or, if higher FiO2 required, high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC). RESULTS: All 18 patients had favourable outcomes and recovered from COVID-19. No death was recorded in this group. CONCLUSION: Our clinical experience proves that high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy may be considered for at-home treatment of COVID-19 patients with moderate lung failure. This could be useful for further treatment during the pandemic and may also be considered in future epidemics.

8.
Respir Med Case Rep ; 33: 101397, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a potentially critical infectious disease. Inflammatory response and disease severity may vary according to immune system status. The aim of this case series is to investigate different presentation of COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients. METHODS: this is a single centre case series about 17 immunocompromised patients admitted to our respiratory department during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. White blood cell count, C reactive protein, interleukin 6, lymphocytic subpopulation count (CD4+, CD8+, CD20+) and immunoglobulin count (IgG, IgM, IgA) were measured at hospitalization. RESULTS: the most common causes of immunosuppression observed in our severe COVID-19 population are hematological malignancies, immunosuppressant drugs for transplant, primary immunodeficiency and inflammatory bowel disease. Onset symptoms were fever (88%), cough (53%), dyspnoea (24%), asthenia (35%), anosmia and/or ageusia (17%), expectoration (12%). Compared to benign conditions, patients with malignancies show a lower lymphocytic count (490 vs 1100 cells/uL) and higher interleukin 6 (33 vs 13 pg/mL). CONCLUSIONS: immunocompromised patients are at risk of adverse outcome from COVID-19. Hematological malignancies and anti-CD20 therapies induce a high risk. Primary immunodeficiency and classical immunosuppressant such as calcineurin inhibitors and antimetabolites share an intermediate risk.

9.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis ; 90(4)2020 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060341

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recent pandemic that affected more than 5 million people worldwide. Chest high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is an essential tool in diagnosis and management of the disease. Pulmonary parenchymal opacity is a typical sign of the disease, but not the only one. Pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, bronchiectasis and cysts are probably underrated complications of COVID-19 that can worsen prognosis, in terms of prolonged hospitalization and need of oxygen therapy. In our single center case series, we outline four different manifestations of pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum and cysts in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Bronchiectasis/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Cysts/diagnostic imaging , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Mediastinal Emphysema/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumothorax/diagnostic imaging , Adult , Betacoronavirus , Bronchiectasis/etiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Cysts/etiology , Humans , Italy , Lung Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Lung Diseases/etiology , Male , Mediastinal Emphysema/etiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumothorax/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Subcutaneous Emphysema/diagnostic imaging , Subcutaneous Emphysema/etiology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
10.
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther ; 52(5): 373-376, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948839

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is an alternative device for oxygena-tion, which improves gas exchange and reduces the work of breathing. Postextubation respiratory failure causes increased morbidity and mortality. HFNC has been widely employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to report a single-centre experience on the effectiveness and safety of HFNC in weaning COVID-19 patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Nine patients showed severe acute respiratory failure and interstitial pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2. After mechanical ventilation (5 Helmet CPAP, 4 invasive mechanical ventilation), they were de-escalated to HFNC. Settings were: 34-37°C, flow from 50 to 60 L min-1. FiO2 was set to achieve appropriate SpO2. RESULTS: Nine patients (4 females; age 63 ± 13.27 years; BMI 27.2 ± 4.27) showed a baseline PaO2/FiO2 of 109 ± 45 mm Hg. After a long course of ventilation all patients improved (PaO2/FiO2 336 ± 72 mm Hg). Immediately after initiation of HFNC (2 hours), PaO2/FiO2 was 254 ± 69.3 mm Hg. Mean ROX index at two hours was 11.17 (range: 7.38-14.4). It was consistent with low risk of HFNC failure. No difference was observed on lactate. After 48 hours of HFNC oxygen therapy (day 3), mean PaO2/FiO2 increased to 396 ± 83.5 mm Hg. All patients recovered from respiratory failure after 7 ± 4.1 days. CONCLUSIONS: HFNC might be helpful in weaning COVID-19 respiratory failure. Effectiveness and comfort should be assessed between 2 and 48 hours. Clinical outcomes, oxygenation, and ROX index should be considered, to rule out the need for intubation. Further evidence is required for firm conclusions.


Subject(s)
Airway Extubation/methods , COVID-19/complications , Catheterization , Nasal Cavity , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/methods , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Adult , Aged , Airway Extubation/adverse effects , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Noninvasive Ventilation , Pneumonia/etiology , Pneumonia/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Treatment Outcome , Ventilator Weaning
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