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Crit Care Explor ; 2(9): e0218, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795068


OBJECTIVES: To describe three coronavirus disease 2019 patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome under venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy and tight anticoagulation monitoring presenting a novel pattern of multifocal brain hemorrhage in various degrees in all cerebral and cerebellar lobes. DESIGN: Clinical observation of three patients. Post mortem examinations. SETTING: Two ICUs at the University Hospital Erlangen. PATIENTS: Three patients (medium age 56.6 yr, two male with hypertension and diabetes, one female with no medical history) developed severe acute respiratory distress syndrome on the basis of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. All required mechanical ventilation and venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. INTERVENTIONS: Clinical observation, CT, data extraction from electronic medical records, and post mortem examinations. MAIN RESULTS: We report on an unusual multifocal bleeding pattern in the white matter in three cases with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome due to coronavirus disease 2019 undergoing venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy. Bleeding pattern with consecutive herniation was found in CT scans as well as in neuropathologic post mortem examinations. Frequency for this unusual brain hemorrhage in coronavirus disease 2019 patients with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy at our hospital is currently 50%, whereas bleeding events in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients generally occur at 10-15%. CONCLUSIONS: Multifocality and high frequency of the unusual white matter hemorrhage pattern suggest a coherence to coronavirus disease 2019. Neuropathological analyses showed circumscribed thrombotic cerebrovascular occlusions, which eventually led to microvascular and later on macrovascular disseminated bleeding events. However, signs of cerebrovascular inflammation could not be detected. Polymerase chain reaction analyses of brain tissue or cerebrospinal fluid remained negative. Increased susceptibility for fatal bleeding events should be taken into consideration in terms of systemic anticoagulation strategies in coronavirus disease 2019.

Eur J Immunol ; 51(10): 2478-2484, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340251


Treatment with convalescent plasma has been shown to be safe in coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) infection, although efficacy reported in immunocompetent patients varies. Nevertheless, neutralizing antibodies are a key requisite in the fight against viral infections. Patients depleted of antibody-producing B cells, such as those treated with rituximab (anti-CD20) for hematological malignancies, lack a fundamental part of their adaptive immunity. Treatment with convalescent plasma appears to be of general benefit in this particularly vulnerable cohort. We analyzed clinical course and inflammation markers of three B-cell-depleted patients suffering from COVID-19 who were treated with convalescent plasma. In addition, we measured serum antibody levels as well as peripheral blood CD38/HLA-DR-positive T-cells ex vivo and CD137-positive T-cells after in vitro stimulation with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived peptides in these patients. We observed that therapy with convalescent plasma was effective in all three patients and analysis of CD137-positive T-cells after stimulation with SARS-CoV-2 peptides showed an increase in peptide-specific T-cells after application of convalescent plasma. In conclusion, we here demonstrate efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy in three B-cell-depleted patients and present data that suggest that while application of convalescent plasma elevates systemic antibody levels only transiently, it may also boost specific T-cell responses.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocyte Depletion , Lymphoma, B-Cell/drug therapy , Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy , Rituximab/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 9/metabolism
Trials ; 21(1): 577, 2020 Jun 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-613556


OBJECTIVES: Approximately 8 - 10 % of COVID-19 patients present with a serious clinical course and need for hospitalization, 8% of hospitalized patients need ICU-treatment. Currently, no causal therapy is available and treatment is purely supportive. The main reason for death in critically ill patients is acute respiratory failure. However, in a number of patients a severe hyperinflammatory response with excessively elevated proinflammatory cytokines causes vasoplegic shock resistant to vasopressor therapy. A new polystyrene-based hemoadsorber (CytoSorb®, Cytosorbents Inc., New Jersey, USA) has been shown to adsorb effectively cytokines and other middle molecular weight toxins this way reducing their blood concentrations. This has been routinely used in clinical practice in the EU for other conditions where a cytokine storm occurs and an observational study has just been completed on COVID-19 patients. We hypothesized that the extracorporeal elimination of cytokines in critically ill COVID-19 patients with suspected hyperinflammation and shock may stabilize hemodynamics and improve outcome. The primary endpoint is time until resolution of vasoplegic shock, which is a well implemented, clinically relevant endpoint in critical care studies. TRIAL DESIGN: Phase IIb, multicenter, prospective, open-label, randomized, 1:1 parallel group pilot study comparing the additional use of "CytoSorb" to standard of care without "CytoSorb". PARTICIPANTS: Patients are recruited from the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of 7 participating centers in Germany (approximately 10 ICUs). All patients aged 18- 80 with positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2, a C-reactive protein (CRP) ≥ 100 mg/l, a Procalcitonin (PCT) < 2 ng/l, and suspected cytokine storm defined via a vasoplegic shock (Norepinephrine > 0.2 µg/min/kg to achieve a Mean Arterial Pressure ≥ 65mmHg). Patients are included irrespective of indication for renal replacement therapy. Suspected or proven bacterial cause for vasoplegic shock is a contraindication. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Within 24 hours after meeting the inclusion criteria patients will be randomized to receive either standard of care or standard of care and additional "CytoSorb" therapy via a shaldon catheter for 3-7 days. Filter exchange is done every 24 hours. If patients receive antibiotics, an additional dose of antibiotics is administered after each change of "CytoSorb" filter in order to prevent underdosing due to "CytoSorb" treatment. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary outcome is time to resolution of vasoplegic shock (defined as no need for vasopressors for at least 8 hours in order to sustain a MAP ≥ 65mmHg) in days. Secondary outcomes are 7 day mortality after fulfilling the inclusion criteria, mortality until hospital discharge, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) measurement on day 1 and 3, need for mechanical ventilation, duration of mechanical ventilation, duration of ICU-stay, catecholamine dose on day 1/2/3 after start of "CytoSorb" and acute kidney injury. RANDOMIZATION: An electronic randomization will be performed using the study software secuTrial® administered by the Clinical Study Center (CSC) of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Randomization is done in blocks by 4 stratified by including center. BLINDING (MASKING): The trial will be non-blinded for the clinicians and patients. The statistician will receive a blinded data set, so that all analyses will be conducted blinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): As this is a pilot study with the goal to examine the feasibility of the study design as well as the intervention effect, no formal sample size calculation was conducted. A total number of approximately 80-100 patients is planned (40-50 patients per group). Safety assessment is done after the inclusion of each 10 patients per randomization group. TRIAL STATUS: Please see the study protocol version from April 24 2020. Recruitment of patients is still pending. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered on April 27 2020 in the German Registry of Clinical Trials (DRKS) under the number DRKS00021447. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Hemadsorption , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Cytokines/isolation & purification , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult