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1.
J Clin Med ; 10(16)2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348651

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by a distinctive blood leucocyte pattern and B-lines on lung ultrasound (LUS) as marker of alveolar-interstitial syndrome. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of blood leucocyte count alone or in combination with LUS for COVID-19 diagnosis. We retrospectively enrolled consecutive patients diagnosed with community acquired pneumonia (CAP) at hospital admission to derive and validate cutoff values for blood cell count that could be predictive of COVID-19 before confirmation by the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Cutoff values, generated and confirmed in inception (41/115, positive/negative patients) and validation (100/180, positive/negative patients) cohorts, were ≤17 and ≤10 cells/mm3 for basophils and eosinophils, respectively. Basophils and/or eosinophils below cutoff were associated with sensitivity of 98% (95%CI, 94-100) and negative likelihood ratio of 0.04 (95%CI, 0.01-0.11). In a subgroup of 265 subjects, the sensitivity of B-line on LUS was 15% lower (p < 0.001) than that of basophils and/or eosinophils below cutoff. The combination of B-lines with basophils and eosinophils below cutoff was associated with a moderate increase of the positive likelihood ratio: 5.0 (95%CI, 3.2-7.7). In conclusion, basophil and eosinophil counts above the generated cutoff virtually rule out COVID-19 in patients with CAP. Our findings can help optimize patient triage pending the NAAT results.

2.
Teach Stat ; 43(3): 129-139, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320431

ABSTRACT

On May 2020, after 2 months of online teaching with no face-to-face lectures, the Education Committee of the Italian scientific Society of Medical Statistics and Clinical Epidemiology conceived an online survey to assess satisfaction of Italian academics of medical statistics with online teaching and remote exams. This survey highlighted teachers' perceptions as well as opportunities and limitations of online teaching of medical statistics, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Although 61% of Italian academics of medical statistics declared to be favorable to provide online teaching of medical statistics, biostatistics, and epidemiology in the future, we recognize that distance education cannot substitute the unique value of teaching and knowledge exchange that could only be transmitted through a personal interaction between students and teachers. These indications may be useful to improve the quality of the teaching process in the future.

3.
Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital ; 41(3): 197-205, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222316

ABSTRACT

Objective: Interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue are thought to influence the manifestations of COVID-19. We aimed to determine whether a previous history of tonsillectomy, as a surrogate indicator of a dysfunctional pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue, could predict the presentation and course of COVID-19. Methods: Multicentric cross-sectional observational study involving seven hospitals in Northern and Central Italy. Data on the clinical course and signs and symptoms of the infection were collected from 779 adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and analysed in relation to previous tonsillectomy, together with demographic and anamnestic data. Results: Patients with previous tonsillectomy showed a greater risk of fever, temperature higher than 39°C, chills and malaise. No significant differences in hospital admissions were found. Conclusions: A previous history of tonsillectomy, as a surrogate indicator of immunological dysfunction of the pharyngeal associated lymphoid tissue, could predict a more intense systemic manifestation of COVID-19. These results could provide a simple clinical marker to discriminate suspected carriers and to delineate more precise prognostic models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Palatine Tonsil , Tonsillectomy/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Palatine Tonsil/surgery , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
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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