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1.
Diagnostics ; 12(5):1261, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1857831

ABSTRACT

In the last years, biomarkers of infection, such as the soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), have been extensively studied as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in the intensive care unit (ICU). In this study, we investigated whether this biomarker can be used in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 septic patients for mortality prediction. Serum suPAR levels were measured in 79 non-COVID-19 critically ill patients upon sepsis (within 6 h), and on admission in 95 COVID-19 patients (66 critical and 29 moderate/severe). The non-COVID-19 septic patients were matched for age, sex, and disease severity, while the site of infection was the respiratory system. On admission, COVID-19 patients presented with higher suPAR levels, compared to non-COVID-19 septic patients (p < 0.01). More importantly, suPAR measured upon sepsis could not differentiate survivors from non-survivors (p > 0.05), as opposed to suPAR measured on admission in COVID-19 survivors and non-survivors (p < 0.0001). By the generated ROC curve, the prognostic value of suPAR in COVID-19 was 0.81, at a cut-off value of 6.3 ng/mL (p < 0.0001). suPAR measured early (within 24 h) after hospital admission seems like a specific and sensitive mortality risk predictor in COVID-19 patients. On the contrary, suPAR measured at sepsis diagnosis in non-COVID-19 critically ill patients, does not seem to be a prognostic factor of mortality.

2.
J Pers Med ; 12(2)2022 Jan 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690200

ABSTRACT

A limited number of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) cases may require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU). Arterial blood lactate levels are routinely measured in the ICU to estimate disease severity, predict poor outcomes, and monitor therapeutic handlings. A number of studies have suggested that, simultaneously with lactate, pyruvate should also be measured, providing augmented prognostic ability, and a better understanding of the underlying metabolic alterations in ICU patients. Hence, the aim of the present study was to elucidate the relationship between lactate levels and the lactate-to-pyruvate (LP) ratio with the clinical outcome in mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients. Lactate and pyruvate were serially measured during the first 24 h of ICU stay. A group of ICU non-COVID-19 patients was used as a comparison group. The majority of COVID-19 patients (82.5%) had normal lactate levels and a normal LP ratio on ICU admission (normal metabolic pattern). A small, yet significant, percentage of patients had either elevated lactate levels or a high LP ratio (abnormal metabolic pattern); these patients exhibited a significantly higher risk of ICU mortality compared to the patients with a normal metabolic pattern (72.7% vs. 34.6%, p = 0.04). In our critically ill COVID-19 patients, elevated lactate levels or high LP ratios on admission to the ICU could be associated with poor clinical outcome.

3.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(7)2021 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526808

ABSTRACT

Endothelial dysfunction, coagulation and inflammation biomarkers are increasingly emerging as prognostic markers of poor outcomes and mortality in severe and critical COVID-19. However, the effect of dexamethasone has not been investigated on these biomarkers. Hence, we studied potential prognostic biomarkers of mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients who had either received or not dexamethasone. Biomarker serum levels were measured on intensive care unit (ICU) admission (within 24 h) in 37 dexamethasone-free and 29 COVID-19 patients who had received the first dose (6 mg) of dexamethasone. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to assess their value in ICU mortality prediction, while Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to explore associations between biomarkers and survival. In the dexamethasone-free COVID-19 ICU patients, non-survivors had considerably higher levels of various endothelial, immunothrombotic and inflammatory biomarkers. In the cohort who had received one dexamethasone dose, non-survivors had higher ICU admission levels of only soluble (s) vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) and presepsin. As determined from the generated ROC curves, sVCAM-1, suPAR and presepsin could still be reliable prognostic ICU mortality biomarkers, following dexamethasone administration (0.7 < AUC < 0.9). Moreover, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that patients with higher than the median values for sVCAM-1 or suPAR exhibited a greater mortality risk than patients with lower values (Log-Rank test, p < 0.01). In our single-center study, sVCAM-1, suPAR and presepsin appear to be valuable prognostic biomarkers in assessing ICU mortality risk in COVID-19 patients, even following dexamethasone administration.

4.
Crit Care Med ; 49(12): 2131-2136, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522360

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Critical illness is characterized by increased serum cortisol concentrations and bioavailability resulting from the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which constitutes an essential part of the stress response. The actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by a ubiquitous intracellular receptor protein, the glucocorticoid receptor. So far, data on coronavirus disease 2019 and glucocorticoid receptor alpha expression are lacking. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: One academic multidisciplinary ICU. SUBJECTS: Twenty-six adult coronavirus disease 2019 patients; 33 adult noncoronavirus disease 2019 patients, matched for age, sex, and disease severity, constituted the control group. All patients were steroid-free. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Glucocorticoid receptor alpha, glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper expression, and serum cortisol were measured on ICU admission. In coronavirus disease 2019 patients, glucocorticoid receptor alpha and glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper messenger RNA expression were upregulated (4.7-fold, p < 0.01 and 14-fold, p < 0.0001, respectively), and cortisol was higher (20.3 vs 14.3 µg/dL, p < 0.01) compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: ICU coronavirus disease 2019 patients showed upregulated glucocorticoid receptor alpha and glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper expression, along with cortisol levels, compared with ICU noncoronavirus disease 2019 patients. Thus, on ICU admission, critical coronavirus disease 2019 appears to be associated with hypercortisolemia, and increased synthesis of glucocorticoid receptor alpha and induced proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Hydrocortisone/blood , Leucine Zippers/physiology , Receptors, Glucocorticoid/biosynthesis , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , Aged , Comorbidity , Critical Illness , Female , Greece , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480799

ABSTRACT

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was described as the principal component of the stress response 85 years ago, along with the acute-phase reaction, and the defense response at the tissue level. The orchestration of these processes is essential since systemic inflammation is a double-edged sword; whereas inflammation that is timely and of appropriate magnitude is beneficial, exuberant systemic inflammation incites tissue damage with potentially devastating consequences. Apart from its beneficial cardiovascular and metabolic effects, cortisol exerts a significant immunoregulatory role, a major attribute being that it restrains the excessive inflammatory reaction, thereby preventing unwanted tissue damage. In this review, we will discuss the role of the HPA axis in the normal stress response and in critical illness, especially in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Finally, a chapter will be dedicated to the findings from clinical studies in critical illness and COVID-19 on the expression of the mediator of glucocorticoid actions, the glucocorticoid receptor (GCR).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/metabolism , Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/virology , Pituitary-Adrenal System/metabolism , Pituitary-Adrenal System/virology , Receptors, Glucocorticoid/metabolism , Critical Illness , Glucocorticoids/metabolism , Humans , Stress, Physiological
6.
J Epidemiol Glob Health ; 11(4): 338-343, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446308

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Immunoglobulins (Igs) comprise a critical part of the immune response. Little information exists on Ig serum levels in COVID-19 patients. We, therefore, investigated whether hospital admission Igs in patients with mild-to-critical disease are associated with clinical outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective, observational, single-center, cross-sectional study included 126 consecutive non-critically ill and critically ill and COVID-19 patients, in whom IgG, IgM, and IgA were measured on hospital admission. RESULTS: The cohort was divided in survivors and non-survivors, based on in-hospital mortality. Median IgG levels of survivors were significantly higher than non-survivors (p < 0.01). The cohort was subsequently divided in IgG deficient (< 690 mg/dl) and sufficient (≥ 690 mg/dl) patients. IgG-deficient patients had a higher mortality rate (p < 0.01). The multivariate logistic regression model showed that subnormal IgG was significantly associated with increased mortality risk (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: In our COVID-19 cohort, admission subnormal IgG levels might be independently associated with reduced survival.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Intensive Care Units , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Minerva Endocrinol (Torino) ; 47(1): 111-116, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431239

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Low testosterone (mainly total testosterone [TTe]) has been noted in patients with COVID-19. Calculated free testosterone (FTe) and bioavailable testosterone (BavTe) may reflect more accurately this hormone's levels. In this study, we sought to assess TTe, FTe as well as BavTe in male patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Sera were collected upon admission from 65 men (10 in the intensive care units [ICU] and 55 in the wards) with polymerase chain reaction - proven COVID-19. A group of age-matched COVID-19-negative men (N.=29) hospitalized in general medical wards served as controls. Age, Body Mass Index (BMI) and 28-day mortality were noted. Measurements included TTe, sex-hormone binding globulin, albumin (the latter two for calculating FTe and BavTe) and laboratory markers of inflammation (white blood cell count [WBC], D-Dimers [D-D], lactate dehydrogenase [LDH], ferritin [Fer] and C-reactive protein [CRP]). RESULTS: Profoundly low TTe, FTe and BavTe were noted in most patients, and were associated with disease severity/outcome (being the lowest in COVID-19 patients in the ICU and overall being lower in non-survivors; analysis of covariance P<0.05). Pearson's correlations for logTe, logFTe or logBavTe versus WBC, D-D, LDH, Ferr or CRP were negative, ranging from -0.403 to -0.293 (P=0.009 to 0.014). CONCLUSIONS: TTe, FTe and BavTe are prone to be low in patients with COVID-19, are negatively associated with disease severity and may be considered to have prognostic value.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Testosterone , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein , Female , Humans , Leukocyte Count , Male
8.
J Pers Med ; 11(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417166

ABSTRACT

Studies have hypothesized a potential role of the interleukin (IL)-23/17 axis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, to date, levels of IL-23 and 17 have not been compared between critically ill COVID-19 patients and critically ill non-COVID-19 patients. IL-23 and 17 were measured on admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) in critically ill COVID-19 (N = 38) and critically ill non-COVID-19 (N = 34) patients with an equal critical illness severity. Critically ill non-COVID-19 patients did not have sepsis or septic shock on ICU admission. None of the enrolled patients had previously received corticosteroids. In our study, circulating IL-17 levels were higher in the COVID-19 patients. More specifically, critically ill COVID-19 patients had levels of 0.78 (0.05-1.8) pg/mL compared to 0.11 (0.05-0.9) pg/mL in the critically ill non-COVID-19 patients (p = 0.04). In contrast, IL-23 levels were comparable between groups. A group of patients hospitalized in the specialized COVID-19 clinic (N = 16) was also used to evaluate IL-17 and IL-23 levels with respect to COVID-19 severity. Non-critically ill COVID-19 patients had undetectable levels of both cytokines. Our results support the notion of inhibiting IL-17 in critical COVID-19 infection.

9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(18)2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409704

ABSTRACT

Autotaxin (ATX; ENPP2) is a secreted lysophospholipase D catalyzing the extracellular production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a pleiotropic signaling phospholipid. Genetic and pharmacologic studies have previously established a pathologic role for ATX and LPA signaling in pulmonary injury, inflammation, and fibrosis. Here, increased ENPP2 mRNA levels were detected in immune cells from nasopharyngeal swab samples of COVID-19 patients, and increased ATX serum levels were found in severe COVID-19 patients. ATX serum levels correlated with the corresponding increased serum levels of IL-6 and endothelial damage biomarkers, suggesting an interplay of the ATX/LPA axis with hyperinflammation and the associated vascular dysfunction in COVID-19. Accordingly, dexamethasone (Dex) treatment of mechanically ventilated patients reduced ATX levels, as shown in two independent cohorts, indicating that the therapeutic benefits of Dex include the suppression of ATX. Moreover, large scale analysis of multiple single cell RNA sequencing datasets revealed the expression landscape of ENPP2 in COVID-19 and further suggested a role for ATX in the homeostasis of dendritic cells, which exhibit both numerical and functional deficits in COVID-19. Therefore, ATX has likely a multifunctional role in COVID-19 pathogenesis, suggesting that its pharmacological targeting might represent an additional therapeutic option, both during and after hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Datasets as Topic , Dendritic Cells/drug effects , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis
10.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(7)2021 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323319

ABSTRACT

A damaged endothelium is an underlying condition of the many complications of COVID-19 patients. The increased mortality risk associated with diseases that have underlying endothelial dysfunction, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), suggests that endothelial (e) nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-derived nitric oxide could be an important defense mechanism. Additionally, intravenous recombinant angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) was recently reported as an effective therapy in severe COVID-19, by blocking viral entry, and thus reducing lung injury. Very few studies exist on the prognostic value of endothelium-related protective molecules in severe COVID-19 disease. To this end, serum levels of eNOS, inducible (i) NOS, adrenomedullin (ADM), soluble (s) ACE2 levels, and serum (s) ACE activity were measured on hospital admission in 89 COVID-19 patients, hospitalized either in a ward or ICU, of whom 68 had ARDS, while 21 did not. In our cohort, the COVID-19-ARDS patients had considerably lower eNOS levels compared to the COVID-19 non-ARDS patients. On the other hand, sACE2 was significantly higher in the ARDS patients. iNOS, ADM and sACE activity did not differ. Our results might support the notion of two distinct defense mechanisms in COVID-19-derived ARDS; eNOS-derived nitric oxide could be one of them, while the dramatic rise in sACE2 may also represent an endogenous mechanism involved in severe COVID-19 complications, such as ARDS. These results could provide insight to therapeutical applications in COVID-19.

11.
Endocr Connect ; 10(6): 646-655, 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304497

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Following the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic, reports pointed on a high prevalence of thyroiditis-related thyrotoxicosis. Interpretation of thyroid tests during illness, however, is hampered by changes occurring in the context of non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). In order to elucidate these findings, we studied thyroid function in carefully selected cohorts of COVID-19 positive and negative patients. DESIGN: Cohort observational study. METHODS: We measured TSH, FT4, T3 within 24 h of admission in 196 patients without thyroid disease and/or confounding medications. In this study, 102 patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive; 41 admitted in the ICU, 46 in the ward and 15 outpatients. Controls consisted of 94 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients; 39 in the ICU and 55 in the ward. We designated the thyroid hormone patterns as consistent with NTIS, thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism. RESULTS: A NTIS pattern was encountered in 60% of ICU and 36% of ward patients, with similar frequencies between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients (46.0% vs 46.8%, P = NS). A thyrotoxicosis pattern was observed in 14.6% SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients vs 7.7% in ICU negative (P = NS) and, overall in 8.8% of SARS-CoV-2 positive vs 7.4% of negative patients. In these patients, thyroglobulin levels were similar to those with normal thyroid function or NTIS. The hypothyroidism pattern was rare. CONCLUSIONS: NTIS pattern is common and relates to the severity of disease rather than SARS-CoV-2 infection. A thyrotoxicosis pattern is less frequently observed with similar frequency between patients with and without COVID-19. It is suggested that thyroid hormone monitoring in COVID-19 should not differ from other critically ill patients.

12.
Metabol Open ; 11: 100106, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300950

ABSTRACT

25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is an important immunomodulator, whose deficiency may aggravate the incidence and outcome of infectious complications in patients admitted to the intensive care unit. The most recognized extra-skeletal action of vitamin D is the regulation of immune function. Host defense against intracellular pathogens depends upon both innate and adaptive immunity. It has been suggested that vitamin D regulates the pro-inflammatory endothelial response to lipopolysaccharide, rendering it a role in the sepsis cascade. Recent studies have indicated that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with worse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), such as more severe disease and higher mortality rates. To this end, clinical trials with vitamin D supplementation are being carried out in an effort to improve COVID-19 outcomes. In this review, we will discuss the role of vitamin D in the immune response, and more specifically its effect on immune cells. Subsequently, we will provide an overview of the studies that have investigated the predictive value of vitamin D in critical illness outcomes, and its therapeutic value as a supplement in critically ill patients. Finally, the emerging role of vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 infection risk, and worse outcomes will be discussed.

13.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 12: 644055, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295630

ABSTRACT

Objective: We aimed to measure insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and growth hormone (GH) in critically and non-critically ill patients with Covid-19 and assess them vis-a-vis clinical and laboratory parameters and prognostic tools. Subjects and Methods: We included patients who were admitted to the wards or the ICU of the largest Covid-19 referral hospital in Greece; patients with non-Covid-19 pneumonia served as controls. Apart from the routine laboratory work-up for Covid-19 we measured GH and IGF1 (and calculated normalized IGF-1 values as standard deviation scores; SDS), after blood sampling upon admission to the wards or the ICU. Results: We studied 209 critically and non-critically ill patients with Covid-19 and 39 control patients. Patients with Covid-19 who were ICU non-survivors were older and presented with a worse hematological/biochemical profile (including white blood cell count, troponin, glucose, aminotransferases and lactate dehydrogenase) compared to ICU survivors or Covid-19 survivors in the wards. Overall, IGF-1 SDS was higher in Covid-19 survivors compared to non-survivors (-0.96 ± 1.89 vs -2.05 ± 2.48, respectively, p=0.030). No significant differences were noted in GH between the groups. Nevertheless, in critically ill patients with Covid-19, the prognostic value of IGF-1 (raw data), IGF-1 (SDS) and GH for survival/non-survival was on a par with that of APACHE II and SOFA (with a marginal difference between GH and SOFA). Conclusion: In conclusion, our findings suggest that there might be an association between low IGF1 (and possibly GH) and poor outcome in patients with Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Illness , Human Growth Hormone/metabolism , Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Survivors/statistics & numerical data
14.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253458, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286869

ABSTRACT

L-Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) is the most significantly co-expressed gene with ACE2, which encodes for the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and the interferon-inducible truncated isoform dACE2. Our group previously showed the importance of DDC in viral infections. We hereby aimed to investigate DDC expression in COVID-19 patients and cultured SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, also in association with ACE2 and dACE2. We concurrently evaluated the expression of the viral infection- and interferon-stimulated gene ISG56 and the immune-modulatory, hypoxia-regulated gene EPO. Viral load and mRNA levels of DDC, ACE2, dACE2, ISG56 and EPO were quantified by RT-qPCR in nasopharyngeal swab samples from COVID-19 patients, showing no or mild symptoms, and from non-infected individuals. Samples from influenza-infected patients were analyzed in comparison. SARS-CoV-2-mediated effects in host gene expression were validated in cultured virus-permissive epithelial cells. We found substantially higher gene expression of DDC in COVID-19 patients (7.6-fold; p = 1.2e-13) but not in influenza-infected ones, compared to non-infected subjects. dACE2 was more elevated (2.9-fold; p = 1.02e-16) than ACE2 (1.7-fold; p = 0.0005) in SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. ISG56 (2.5-fold; p = 3.01e-6) and EPO (2.6-fold; p = 2.1e-13) were also increased. Detected differences were not attributed to enrichment of specific cell populations in nasopharyngeal tissue. While SARS-CoV-2 virus load was positively associated with ACE2 expression (r≥0.8, p<0.001), it negatively correlated with DDC, dACE2 (r≤-0.7, p<0.001) and EPO (r≤-0.5, p<0.05). Moreover, a statistically significant correlation between DDC and dACE2 expression was observed in nasopharyngeal swab and whole blood samples of both COVID-19 and non-infected individuals (r≥0.7). In VeroE6 cells, SARS-CoV-2 negatively affected DDC, ACE2, dACE2 and EPO mRNA levels, and induced cell death, while ISG56 was enhanced at early hours post-infection. Thus, the regulation of DDC, dACE2 and EPO expression in the SARS-CoV-2-infected nasopharyngeal tissue is possibly related with an orchestrated antiviral response of the infected host as the virus suppresses these genes to favor its propagation.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Dopa Decarboxylase/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Area Under Curve , Aromatic-L-Amino-Acid Decarboxylases , COVID-19/virology , Dopa Decarboxylase/genetics , Down-Regulation , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Erythropoietin/genetics , Erythropoietin/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/metabolism , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Up-Regulation , Viral Load
15.
Shock ; 56(5): 733-736, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146305

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) is a protein that regulates the protein C anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory pathways. A soluble form of EPCR (sEPCR) circulates in plasma and inhibits activated protein C (APC) activities. The clinical impact of sEPCR and its involvement in COVID-19 has not been explored. In this study, we investigated whether sEPCR levels were related to COVID-19 patients' requirement for hospitalization. METHODS: Plasma sEPCR levels were measured on hospital admission in 84 COVID-19 patients, and in 11 non-hospitalized SARS-CoV2-positive patients approximately 6 days after reported manifestation of their symptoms. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify potential risk factors for hospitalization and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to assess their value. RESULTS: In our cohort, hospitalized patients had considerably higher sEPCR levels upon admission compared with outpatients [107.5 (76.7-156.3) vs. 44.6 (12.1-84.4) ng/mL; P < 0.0001)]. The ROC curve using hospitalization as the classification variable and sEPCR levels as the prognostic variable generated an area under the curve at 0.845 (95% CI = 0.710-0.981, P < 0.001). Additionally, we investigated the predictive value of sEPCR combined with BMI, age, or D-dimers. CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort, sEPCR levels in COVID-19 patients upon hospital admission appear considerably elevated compared with outpatients; this could lead to impaired APC activities and might contribute to the pro-coagulant phenotype reported in such patients. sEPCR measurement might be useful as a point-of-care test in SARS-CoV2-positive patients.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Endothelial Protein C Receptor/blood , Adult , Aged , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/biosynthesis , Hospitalization , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Outpatients , Phenotype , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , ROC Curve , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/blood
16.
J Crit Care Med (Targu Mures) ; 7(1): 14-20, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115377

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare professionals who are directly involved in the diagnosis, treatment, and general care of patients with SARS-CoV-2 are at risk of developing adverse psychological reactions. A cross-sectional study of healthcare professionals aimed to determine the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the mental health of healthcare professionals in two of the largest referral hospitals in Athens, Greece. METHODS: The study was conducted in the two largest SARS-CoV-2 referral hospitals in Athens, Greece. An assessment and the interrelationship of post-traumatic stress disorder, using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised [IES-R]) and burnout, using the Maslach Burnout Inventory [MBI]) was carried out. RESULTS: A total of 162 subjects were enrolled in the study. Fifty-six (35%) had an IES-R score > 33, suggesting post-traumatic stress disorder. Forty-nine (30%) had an MBI score > 27. Seventy-five (46%) had a personal accomplishment score of < 33 and 46 (28%) had a depersonalization score >10. Stepwise backward logistic regression revealed that the only independent variable that was retained regarding the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder was the emotional exhaustion score of the MBI (at a cut-off of 24 in this scale, the 95% CI of the odds ratio for the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder was 1.077-1.173). CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of first-line Greek healthcare professionals against SARS-CoV-2, most of them were proven to be quite resilient to this challenge. One-third of them had post-traumatic stress disorder, which depended on their degree of emotional exhaustion. Healthcare professionals, as represented by this study, performed their duties without feeling helpless and developing adverse psychological reactions.

17.
In Vivo ; 35(2): 1295-1298, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Lately, studies have reported contradicting results on the cytokine storm seen in critically-ill COVID-19 patients. Depending on the control group used, cytokines have been found to be higher, similar or even lower in COVID-19 compared to critical illnesses associated with elevated cytokine concentrations. However, most of these studies do not take into account critical illness severity. Hence, we decided to compare cytokine levels in critically-ill COVID-19 patients and critically-ill patients of a general intensive care unit (ICU), who did not have sepsis or septic shock, but had an equal disease severity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured on ICU admission in mechanically ventilated, COVID-19 (N=36) and non-COVID-19 (N=30) patients, who had not received dexamethasone, and had equal critical illness severity. Non-COVID-19 patients did not have sepsis or septic shock. RESULTS: In our case control study, circulating IL-6 and IL-10 were lower, while TNF-α and IL-8 levels were higher in critically-ill COVID-19 patients, compared to critically-ill non-COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSION: It is difficult to infer whether the cytokine storm seen in COVID-19 differs from other critical conditions. It is important to recognize that the conclusions of related studies may depend on control group selection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Critical Illness/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Control Groups , Female , Humans , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood
18.
Cells ; 10(1)2021 Jan 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1038628

ABSTRACT

Endotheliopathy is suggested to be an important feature of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. To determine whether endotheliopathy is involved in COVID-19-associated mortality, markers of endothelial damage were assessed in critically ill COVID-19 patients upon intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Thirty-eight critically ill COVID-19 patients were included in this observational study, 10 of whom died in the ICU. Endothelial biomarkers, including soluble (s)E-selectin, sP-selectin, angiopoietin 1 and 2 (Ang-1 and Ang-2, respectively), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, and von Willebrand factor (vWf), were measured upon ICU admission. The ICU cohort was subsequently divided into survivors and non-survivors; Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to explore associations between biomarkers and survival, while receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to determine their potential prognostic value. sE-selectin, sP-selectin, Ang-2, and sICAM-1 were significantly elevated in ICU non-survivors compared to survivors, and also associated with a higher mortality probability in the Kaplan-Meier analysis. The prognostic values of sE-selectin, Ang-2, and sICAM-1 from the generated ROC curves were greater than 0.85. Hence, we conclude that in our cohort, ICU non-survivors had higher levels of specific endothelial markers compared to survivors. Elevated levels of these markers upon ICU admission could possibly predict mortality in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis
19.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(1)2021 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028880

ABSTRACT

Background and objectives: Critically and non-critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection (Covid-19) may present with higher-than-expected glycemia, even in the absence of diabetes. With this study we aimed to assess glucose, glycemic gap (GlyG) and insulin secretion/sensitivity measures in patients with Covid-19. Materials and Methods: We studied, upon admission, 157 patients with Covid-19 (84: in wards and 73: in intensive care units; ICU); 135 had no history of diabetes. We measured blood glucose upon admission as well as glycated hemoglobin (A1c), plasma insulin and C-peptide. We calculated the GlyG and the Homeostasis Model Assessment 2 (HOMA2) estimates of steady state beta cell function (HOMA2%B) and insulin sensitivity (HOMA2%S). Statistical assessment was done with analysis or the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: Compared to patients in the wards without diabetes, patients with diabetes in the wards, as well as patients in the ICU (without or with diabetes) had higher admission glycemia. The GlyG was significantly higher in patients without diabetes in the ICU compared to patients without diabetes in the wards, while HOMA2%B based on glucose and insulin was significantly higher in the ICU patients compared to patients in the wards. Of all the parameters, HOMA2%S based on C-peptide/glucose was higher in survivors (n = 133). Conclusions: In our series of patients with Covid-19, a substantial number of patients with and without diabetes had admission hyperglycemia and those who were critically ill may have had compromised insulin secretion and lowered sensitivity to insulin. These findings lend credence to reports of association between Covid-19 and hyperglycemia/secondary diabetes.


Subject(s)
Blood Glucose/analysis , C-Peptide/blood , COVID-19/blood , Insulin Resistance , Insulin/blood , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Illness , Diabetes Mellitus/blood , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Female , Glycated Hemoglobin A/analysis , Greece/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Hyperglycemia , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged
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