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1.
Mycoses ; 65(8): 824-833, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879087

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the absence of lung biopsy, there are various algorithms for the diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in critically ill patients that rely on clinical signs, underlying conditions, radiological features and mycology. The aim of the present study was to compare four diagnostic algorithms in their ability to differentiate between probable IPA (i.e., requiring treatment) and colonisation. METHODS: For this diagnostic accuracy study, we included a mixed ICU population with a positive Aspergillus culture from respiratory secretions and applied four different diagnostic algorithms to them. We compared agreement among the four algorithms. In a subgroup of patients with lung tissue histopathology available, we determined the sensitivity and specificity of the single algorithms. RESULTS: A total number of 684 critically ill patients (69% medical/31% surgical) were included between 2005 and 2020. Overall, 79% (n = 543) of patients fulfilled the criteria for probable IPA according to at least one diagnostic algorithm. Only 4% of patients (n = 29) fulfilled the criteria for probable IPA according to all four algorithms. Agreement among the four diagnostic criteria was low (Cohen's kappa 0.07-0.29). From 85 patients with histopathological examination of lung tissue, 40% (n = 34) had confirmed IPA. The new EORTC/MSGERC ICU working group criteria had high specificity (0.59 [0.41-0.75]) and sensitivity (0.73 [0.59-0.85]). CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of mixed ICU patients, the agreement among four algorithms for the diagnosis of IPA was low. Although improved by the latest diagnostic criteria, the discrimination of invasive fungal infection from Aspergillus colonisation in critically ill patients remains challenging and requires further optimization.


Subject(s)
Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis , Aspergillus , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Humans , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/microbiology , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310513

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic with significant mortality. Accurate information on the specific circumstances of death and whether patients died from or with SARS-CoV-2 is scarce. Methods: To distinguish COVID-19 from non-COVID-19 deaths, we performed a systematic review of 735 SARS-CoV-2-associated deaths in Hamburg, Germany, from March to December 2020, using conventional autopsy, ultrasound-guided minimally invasive autopsy, postmortem computed tomography and medical records. Statistical analyses including multiple logistic regression were used to compare both cohorts. Findings: 84.1% (n=618) were classified as COVID-19 deaths, 6.4% (n=47) as non-COVID-19 deaths, 9.5% (n=70) remained unclear. Median age of COVID-19 deaths was 83.0 years, 54.4% were male. In the autopsy group (n=283), the majority died of pneumonia and/or diffuse alveolar damage (73.6%;n=187). Thromboses were found in 39.2% (n=62/158 cases), pulmonary embolism in 22.1% (n=56/253 cases). In 2020, annual mortality in Hamburg was about 5.5% higher than in the previous 20 years, of which 3.4% (n=618) represented COVID-19 deaths. Interpretation Our study highlights the need for mortality surveillance and postmortem examinations. The vast majority of individuals who died directly from SARS-CoV-2 infection were of advanced age and had multiple comorbidities.

3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19342, 2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442803

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic with significant mortality. Accurate information on the specific circumstances of death and whether patients died from or with SARS-CoV-2 is scarce. To distinguish COVID-19 from non-COVID-19 deaths, we performed a systematic review of 735 SARS-CoV-2-associated deaths in Hamburg, Germany, from March to December 2020, using conventional autopsy, ultrasound-guided minimally invasive autopsy, postmortem computed tomography and medical records. Statistical analyses including multiple logistic regression were used to compare both cohorts. 84.1% (n = 618) were classified as COVID-19 deaths, 6.4% (n = 47) as non-COVID-19 deaths, 9.5% (n = 70) remained unclear. Median age of COVID-19 deaths was 83.0 years, 54.4% were male. In the autopsy group (n = 283), the majority died of pneumonia and/or diffuse alveolar damage (73.6%; n = 187). Thromboses were found in 39.2% (n = 62/158 cases), pulmonary embolism in 22.1% (n = 56/253 cases). In 2020, annual mortality in Hamburg was about 5.5% higher than in the previous 20 years, of which 3.4% (n = 618) represented COVID-19 deaths. Our study highlights the need for mortality surveillance and postmortem examinations. The vast majority of individuals who died directly from SARS-CoV-2 infection were of advanced age and had multiple comorbidities.


Subject(s)
Autopsy , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pneumonia , Prospective Studies , Pulmonary Embolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis
4.
Int J Legal Med ; 134(5): 1977, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384415

ABSTRACT

The affiliation of the author Martin Aepfelbacher was incorrectly assigned in the manuscript. Martin Aepfelbacher is affiliated to the Institute of Microbiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, instead.

5.
Am J Pathol ; 191(7): 1193-1208, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283899

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) can arise from unknown causes, as in idiopathic PF, or as a consequence of infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Current treatments for PF slow, but do not stop, disease progression. We report that treatment with a runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) inhibitor (Ro24-7429), previously found to be safe, although ineffective, as a Tat inhibitor in patients with HIV, robustly ameliorates lung fibrosis and inflammation in the bleomycin-induced PF mouse model. RUNX1 inhibition blunted fundamental mechanisms downstream pathologic mediators of fibrosis and inflammation, including transforming growth factor-ß1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, in cultured lung epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and vascular endothelial cells, indicating pleiotropic effects. RUNX1 inhibition also reduced the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and FES Upstream Region (FURIN), host proteins critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in mice and in vitro. A subset of human lungs with SARS-CoV-2 infection overexpress RUNX1. These data suggest that RUNX1 inhibition via repurposing of Ro24-7429 may be beneficial for PF and to battle SARS-CoV-2, by reducing expression of viral mediators and by preventing respiratory complications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit/antagonists & inhibitors , Furin/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Animals , Bleomycin , Cells, Cultured , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Mice , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Treatment Outcome
6.
Int J Legal Med ; 136(1): 193-202, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258202

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic with Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 has been taking on new dynamics since the emergence of new variants last fall, some of them spreading more rapidly. Many countries currently find themselves in a race to ramp up vaccination strategies that have been initiated and a possible third wave of the pandemic from new variants, such as the Variant of Concern-202012/01 from the B.1.1.7 lineage. Until today, many investigations in death cases of Coronavirus-disease-19 have been conducted, revealing pulmonary damage to be the predominant feature of the disease. Thereby, different degrees of macroscopic and microscopic lung damage have been reported, most of them resembling an Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Far more, systemic complications of the disease such as pulmonary embolisms have been described. However, neither morphologic nor virologic findings of patients dying of the new variants have yet been reported. Here, we report on a comprehensive analysis of radiologic, morphologic, and virologic findings in a fatal case of this variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Fatal Outcome , Humans , Pandemics
7.
Am J Pathol ; 191(7): 1193-1208, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242859

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) can arise from unknown causes, as in idiopathic PF, or as a consequence of infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Current treatments for PF slow, but do not stop, disease progression. We report that treatment with a runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) inhibitor (Ro24-7429), previously found to be safe, although ineffective, as a Tat inhibitor in patients with HIV, robustly ameliorates lung fibrosis and inflammation in the bleomycin-induced PF mouse model. RUNX1 inhibition blunted fundamental mechanisms downstream pathologic mediators of fibrosis and inflammation, including transforming growth factor-ß1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, in cultured lung epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and vascular endothelial cells, indicating pleiotropic effects. RUNX1 inhibition also reduced the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and FES Upstream Region (FURIN), host proteins critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in mice and in vitro. A subset of human lungs with SARS-CoV-2 infection overexpress RUNX1. These data suggest that RUNX1 inhibition via repurposing of Ro24-7429 may be beneficial for PF and to battle SARS-CoV-2, by reducing expression of viral mediators and by preventing respiratory complications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit/antagonists & inhibitors , Furin/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Animals , Bleomycin , Cells, Cultured , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Mice , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Treatment Outcome
8.
Sci Immunol ; 6(56)2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099742

ABSTRACT

Hyperinflammation contributes to lung injury and subsequent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To understand the underlying mechanisms involved in lung pathology, we investigated the role of the lung-specific immune response. We profiled immune cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood collected from COVID-19 patients with severe disease and bacterial pneumonia patients not associated with viral infection. By tracking T cell clones across tissues, we identified clonally expanded tissue-resident memory-like Th17 cells (Trm17 cells) in the lungs even after viral clearance. These Trm17 cells were characterized by a a potentially pathogenic cytokine expression profile of IL17A and CSF2 (GM-CSF). Interactome analysis suggests that Trm17 cells can interact with lung macrophages and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which have been associated with disease severity and lung damage. High IL-17A and GM-CSF protein levels in the serum of COVID-19 patients were associated with a more severe clinical course. Collectively, our study suggests that pulmonary Trm17 cells are one potential orchestrator of the hyperinflammation in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Immunologic Memory , Lung/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Clone Cells , Humans , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/immunology , Lung/pathology , Myeloid Cells , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology
9.
Ann Intern Med ; 173(4): 268-277, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-782419

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused more than 210 000 deaths worldwide. However, little is known about the causes of death and the virus's pathologic features. OBJECTIVE: To validate and compare clinical findings with data from medical autopsy, virtual autopsy, and virologic tests. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Autopsies performed at a single academic medical center, as mandated by the German federal state of Hamburg for patients dying with a polymerase chain reaction-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. PATIENTS: The first 12 consecutive COVID-19-positive deaths. MEASUREMENTS: Complete autopsy, including postmortem computed tomography and histopathologic and virologic analysis, was performed. Clinical data and medical course were evaluated. RESULTS: Median patient age was 73 years (range, 52 to 87 years), 75% of patients were male, and death occurred in the hospital (n = 10) or outpatient sector (n = 2). Coronary heart disease and asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the most common comorbid conditions (50% and 25%, respectively). Autopsy revealed deep venous thrombosis in 7 of 12 patients (58%) in whom venous thromboembolism was not suspected before death; pulmonary embolism was the direct cause of death in 4 patients. Postmortem computed tomography revealed reticular infiltration of the lungs with severe bilateral, dense consolidation, whereas histomorphologically diffuse alveolar damage was seen in 8 patients. In all patients, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in the lung at high concentrations; viremia in 6 of 10 and 5 of 12 patients demonstrated high viral RNA titers in the liver, kidney, or heart. LIMITATION: Limited sample size. CONCLUSION: The high incidence of thromboembolic events suggests an important role of COVID-19-induced coagulopathy. Further studies are needed to investigate the molecular mechanism and overall clinical incidence of COVID-19-related death, as well as possible therapeutic interventions to reduce it. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/methods , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pulmonary Embolism/mortality , Venous Thromboembolism/mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
10.
Int J Legal Med ; 134(4): 1275-1284, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-526787

ABSTRACT

Autopsies of deceased with a confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can provide important insights into the novel disease and its course. Furthermore, autopsies are essential for the correct statistical recording of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths. In the northern German Federal State of Hamburg, all deaths of Hamburg citizens with ante- or postmortem PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection have been autopsied since the outbreak of the pandemic in Germany. Our evaluation provides a systematic overview of the first 80 consecutive full autopsies. A proposal for the categorisation of deaths with SARS-CoV-2 infection is presented (category 1: definite COVID-19 death; category 2: probable COVID-19 death; category 3: possible COVID-19 death with an equal alternative cause of death; category 4: SARS-CoV-2 detection with cause of death not associated to COVID-19). In six cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection was diagnosed postmortem by a positive PCR test in a nasopharyngeal or lung tissue swab. In the other 74 cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection had already been known antemortem. The deceased were aged between 52 and 96 years (average 79.2 years, median 82.4 years). In the study cohort, 34 deceased were female (38%) and 46 male (62%). Overall, 38% of the deceased were overweight or obese. All deceased, except for two women, in whom no significant pre-existing conditions were found autoptically, had relevant comorbidities (in descending order of frequency): (1) diseases of the cardiovascular system, (2) lung diseases, (3) central nervous system diseases, (4) kidney diseases, and (5) diabetes mellitus. A total of 76 cases (95%) were classified as COVID-19 deaths, corresponding to categories 1-3. Four deaths (5%) were defined as non-COVID-19 deaths with virus-independent causes of death. In eight cases, pneumonia was combined with a fulminant pulmonary artery embolism. Peripheral pulmonary artery embolisms were found in nine other cases. Overall, deep vein thrombosis has been found in 40% of the cases. This study provides the largest overview of autopsies of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients presented so far.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Autopsy , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Cross Infection/mortality , Exudates and Transudates , Female , Fibroblasts/pathology , Fibrosis/pathology , Germany/epidemiology , Giant Cells/pathology , Humans , Male , Megakaryocytes/pathology , Middle Aged , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Organ Size , Overweight/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Residential Facilities/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Distribution , Travel-Related Illness , Venous Thrombosis/pathology
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