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ESC Heart Fail ; 8(2): 1717-1721, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384161


AIMS: Concern has been raised that treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may increase the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which acts as the entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2, and lead to an increased risk of death from SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to address this concern by evaluating the in vivo relationship of treatment with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) with circulating plasma concentrations of ACE2 in a large cohort of patients with established cardiovascular disease (n = 1864) or cardiovascular risk factors (n = 2144) but without a history of heart failure. METHODS AND RESULTS: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 was measured in 4008 patients (median age 68, 33% women, 31% on ACE-inhibitors, 31% on ARB) using the SOMAscan proteomic platform (SomaLogic Inc, Colorado, USA). Plasma concentration of ACE2 was comparable in 1250 patients on ACE inhibitors (mean 5.99) versus patients without ACE inhibitors (mean 5.98, P = 0.54). Similarly, plasma concentration of ACE2 was comparable in 1260 patients on ARB (mean 5.99) versus patients without ARB (mean 5.98, P = 0.50). Plasma concentration of ACE2 was comparable in 2474 patients on either ACE inhibitors or ARB (mean 5.99) versus patients without ACE inhibitors or ARB (mean 5.98, P = 0.31). Multivariable quantile regression model analysis confirmed the lack of association between treatment with ACE inhibitors or ARB and ACE2 concentrations. Body mass index showed the only positive association with ACE2 plasma concentration (effect 0.015, 95% confidence interval 0.002 to 0.028, P = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of patients with established cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors but without heart failure, ACE inhibitors and ARB were not associated with higher plasma concentrations of ACE2.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors , Female , Humans , Male , Proteomics , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240078, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-814641


BACKGROUND: To evaluate chest-computed-tomography (CT) scans in coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients for signs of organizing pneumonia (OP) and microinfarction as surrogate for microscopic thromboembolic events. METHODS: Real-time polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 patients undergoing chest-CT (non-enhanced, enhanced, pulmonary-angiography [CT-PA]) from March-April 2020 were retrospectively included (COVID-19-cohort). As control-groups served 175 patients from 2020 (cohort-2020) and 157 patients from 2019 (cohort-2019) undergoing CT-PA for pulmonary embolism (PE) during the respective time frame at our institution. Two independent readers assessed for presence and location of PE in all three cohorts. In COVID-19 patients additionally parenchymal changes typical of COVID-19 pneumonia, infarct pneumonia and OP were assessed. Inter-reader agreement and prevalence of PE in different cohorts were calculated. RESULTS: From 68 COVID-19 patients (42 female [61.8%], median age 59 years [range 32-89]) undergoing chest-CT 38 obtained CT-PA. Inter-reader-agreement was good (k = 0.781). On CT-PA, 13.2% of COVID-19 patients presented with PE whereas in the control-groups prevalence of PE was 9.1% and 8.9%, respectively (p = 0.452). Up to 50% of COVID-19 patients showed changes typical for OP. 21.1% of COVID-19 patients suspected with PE showed subpleural wedge-shaped consolidation resembling infarct pneumonia, while only 13.2% showed visible filling defects of the pulmonary artery branches on CT-PA. CONCLUSION: Despite the reported hypercoagulability in critically ill patients with COVID-19, we did not encounter higher prevalence of PE in our patient cohort compared to the control cohorts. However, patients with suspected PE showed a higher prevalence of lung changes, resembling patterns of infarct pneumonia or OP and CT-signs of pulmonary-artery hypertension.

Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pulmonary Artery/pathology , Pulmonary Infarction/diagnostic imaging , Thromboembolism/diagnostic imaging , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Retrospective Studies , Tomography, X-Ray Computed