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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Nov 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502441

ABSTRACT

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic due to the spread of COVID-19 from Wuhan, China, causing high mortality rates all over the world. The related disease, which mainly affects the lungs, is responsible for the onset of Diffuse Alveolar Damage (DAD) and a hypercoagulability state, frequently leading to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and multiorgan failure, particularly in old and severe-critically ill patients. In order to find effective therapeutic strategies, many efforts have been made aiming to shed light on the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease. Moreover, following the late advent of vaccination campaigns, the need for the comprehension of the pathophysiology of the fatal, although rare, thrombotic adverse events has become mandatory as well. The achievement of such purposes needs a multidisciplinary approach, depending on a correct interpretation of clinical, biochemical, biomolecular, and forensic findings. In this scenario, autopsies have helped in defining, on both gross and histologic examinations, the main changes to which the affected organs undergo and the role in assessing whether a patient is dead "from" or "with" COVID-19, not to mention whether the existence of a causal link exists between vaccination and thrombotic adverse events. In the present work, we explored the role of postmortem immunohistochemistry, and the increasingly used ancillary technique, in helping to understand the mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of both COVID-19 disease and COVID-19 vaccine-related adverse and rare effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/pathology , Thrombosis/etiology , Autopsy , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelium/metabolism , Endothelium/pathology , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 719976, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472391

ABSTRACT

Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease with a high rate of progression to critical illness. However, the stratification of patients at risk of mortality is not well defined. In this study, we aimed to define a mortality risk index to allocate patients to the appropriate intensity of care. Methods: This is a 12 months observational longitudinal study designed to develop and validate a pragmatic mortality risk score to stratify COVID-19 patients aged ≥18 years and admitted to hospital between March 2020 and March 2021. Main outcome was in-hospital mortality. Results: 244 patients were included in the study (mortality rate 29.9%). The Covid-19 Assessment for Survival at Admission (CASA) index included seven variables readily available at admission: respiratory rate, troponin, albumin, CKD-EPI, white blood cell count, D-dimer, Pa02/Fi02. The CASA index showed high discrimination for mortality with an AUC of 0.91 (sensitivity 98.6%; specificity 69%) and a better performance compared to SOFA (AUC = 0.76), age (AUC = 0.76) and 4C mortality (AUC = 0.82). The cut-off identified (11.994) for CASA index showed a negative predictive value of 99.16% and a positive predictive value of 57.58%. Conclusions: A quick and readily available index has been identified to help clinicians stratify COVID-19 patients according to the appropriate intensity of care and minimize hospital admission to patients at high risk of mortality.

3.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 614586, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191699

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. COVID-19 still represents a worldwide health emergency, which causesa severe disease that has led to the death of many patients. The pathophysiological mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 determining the tissue damage is not clear and autopsycan be auseful tool to improve the knowledge of this infection and, thus, it can help achieve a timely diagnosis and develop an appropriate therapy. This is an overview of the main post-mortem findings reporting data on the infection effects on several organs. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed database searching for articles from 1 January to August 31, 2020. Thearticles were selected identifying words/concepts in the titles and/or abstracts that indicated the analysis of the morphological/pathological tissue injuries related to SARS-CoV-2 disease by several investigations. Results: A total of 63 articles were selected. The main investigated tissue was the lung showing a diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) frequently associated with pulmonary thrombotic microangiopathy. Inflammatory findings and vascular damage were observed in other organs such as heart, liver, kidney, brain, spleen, skin and adrenal gland. The immunohistochemical analysis showed tissue inflammatory cells infiltrates. The virus presence was detected by several investigations such as RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and electron microscope, showing the effect ofSARS-CoV-2not exclusively in the lung. Discussion: The evidence emerging from this review highlighted the importance of autopsy to provide a fundamental base in the process of understanding the consequences ofSARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19 is strictly related to a hyper inflammatory state that seems to start with DAD and immuno-thrombotic microangiopathy. Massive activation of the immune system and microvascular damage might also be responsible for indirect damage to other organs, even if the direct effect of the virus on these tissues cannot be excluded.

4.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 10(10)2020 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-958238

ABSTRACT

To date, sepsis is still one of the most important causes of death due to the difficulties concerning the achievement of a correct diagnosis. As well as in a clinical context, also in a medico-legal setting the diagnosis of sepsis can reveal challenging due to the unspecificity of the signs detected during autopsies, especially when no ante-mortem clinical data, laboratory, and cultural results are available. Thus, a systematic review of literature was performed to provide an overview of the main available and updated forensic tools for the post-mortem diagnosis of sepsis. Moreover, the aim of this review was to evaluate whether a marker or a combination of markers exist, specific enough to allow a correct and definite post-mortem diagnosis. The review was conducted searching in PubMed and Scopus databases, and using variable combinations of the keywords "post mortem sepsis diagnosis", "macroscopic signs", "morphology", "histology", "immunohistochemical markers", "biochemical markers", and "forensic microbiology". The article selection was carried out following specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 44 works was identified, providing data on morphological aspects of the organs examined, histological findings, immunohistochemical and biochemical markers, and cultural assays. The review findings suggested that the post-mortem diagnosis of sepsis can be achieved by a combination of data obtained from macroscopic and microscopic analysis and microbial investigations, associated with the increased levels of at least two of three biochemical and/or immunohistochemical markers evaluated simultaneously on blood samples.

5.
Med Leg J ; 88(2): 84-86, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291117

ABSTRACT

The authors evaluate the importance of prevention measures and health care from their own experience and briefly analyse the factors that may have contributed to the rapid spread of Covid-19 in Italy, and hope this will feed into appropriate and new and improved health policies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Policy , National Health Programs , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pharmaceutical Preparations/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Strategic Stockpile
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