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Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): e4154-e4165, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559099


BACKGROUND: Children and older adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) display a distinct spectrum of disease severity yet the risk factors aren't well understood. We sought to examine the expression pattern of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cell-entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the role of lung progenitor cells in children and older patients. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical features in a cohort of 299 patients with COVID-19. The expression and distribution of ACE2 and lung progenitor cells were systematically examined using a combination of public single-cell RNA-seq data sets, lung biopsies, and ex vivo infection of lung tissues with SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus in children and older adults. We also followed up patients who had recovered from COVID-19. RESULTS: Compared with children, older patients (>50 years.) were more likely to develop into serious pneumonia with reduced lymphocytes and aberrant inflammatory response (P = .001). The expression level of ACE2 and lung progenitor cell markers were generally decreased in older patients. Notably, ACE2 positive cells were mainly distributed in the alveolar region, including SFTPC positive cells, but rarely in airway regions in the older adults (P < .01). The follow-up of discharged patients revealed a prolonged recovery from pneumonia in the older (P < .025). CONCLUSIONS: Compared to children, ACE2 positive cells are generally decreased in older adults and mainly presented in the lower pulmonary tract. The lung progenitor cells are also decreased. These risk factors may impact disease severity and recovery from pneumonia caused by SARS-Cov-2 infection in older patients.

Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 689568, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295660


Objective: Early identification of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with worse outcomes may benefit clinical management of patients. We aimed to quantify pneumonia findings on CT at admission to predict progression to critical illness in COVID-19 patients. Methods: This retrospective study included laboratory-confirmed adult patients with COVID-19. All patients underwent a thin-section chest computed tomography (CT) scans showing evidence of pneumonia. CT images with severe moving artifacts were excluded from analysis. Patients' clinical and laboratory data were collected from medical records. Three quantitative CT features of pneumonia lesions were automatically calculated using a Intelligent Multi-disciplinary Imaging Diagnosis Platform Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19, denoting the percentage of pneumonia volume (PPV), ground-glass opacity volume (PGV), and consolidation volume (PCV). According to Chinese COVID-19 guidelines (trial version 7), patients were divided into noncritical and critical groups. Critical illness was defined as a composite of admission to the intensive care unit, respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation, shock, or death. The performance of PPV, PGV, and PCV in discrimination of critical illness was assessed. The correlations between PPV and laboratory variables were assessed by Pearson correlation analysis. Results: A total of 140 patients were included, with mean age of 58.6 years, and 85 (60.7%) were male. Thirty-two (22.9%) patients were critical. Using a cutoff value of 22.6%, the PPV had the highest performance in predicting critical illness, with an area under the curve of 0.868, sensitivity of 81.3%, and specificity of 80.6%. The PPV had moderately positive correlation with neutrophil (%) (r = 0.535, p < 0.001), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (r = 0.567, p < 0.001), d-Dimer (r = 0.444, p < 0.001), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (r = 0.495, p < 0.001), aspartate aminotransferase (r = 0.410, p < 0.001), lactate dehydrogenase (r = 0.644, p < 0.001), and urea nitrogen (r = 0.439, p < 0.001), whereas the PPV had moderately negative correlation with lymphocyte (%) (r = -0.535, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Pneumonia volume quantified on initial CT can non-invasively predict the progression to critical illness in advance, which serve as a prognostic marker of COVID-19.

J Thorac Dis ; 13(2): 1215-1229, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1134641


Background: To develop machine learning classifiers at admission for predicting which patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who will progress to critical illness. Methods: A total of 158 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to three designated hospitals between December 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020 were retrospectively collected. 27 clinical and laboratory variables of COVID-19 patients were collected from the medical records. A total of 201 quantitative CT features of COVID-19 pneumonia were extracted by using an artificial intelligence software. The critically ill cases were defined according to the COVID-19 guidelines. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) logistic regression was used to select the predictors of critical illness from clinical and radiological features, respectively. Accordingly, we developed clinical and radiological models using the following machine learning classifiers, including naive bayes (NB), linear regression (LR), random forest (RF), extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost), adaptive boosting (AdaBoost), K-nearest neighbor (KNN), kernel support vector machine (k-SVM), and back propagation neural networks (BPNN). The combined model incorporating the selected clinical and radiological factors was also developed using the eight above-mentioned classifiers. The predictive efficiency of the models is validated using a 5-fold cross-validation method. The performance of the models was compared by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: The mean age of all patients was 58.9±13.9 years and 89 (56.3%) were males. 35 (22.2%) patients deteriorated to critical illness. After LASSO analysis, four clinical features including lymphocyte percentage, lactic dehydrogenase, neutrophil count, and D-dimer and four quantitative CT features were selected. The XGBoost-based clinical model yielded the highest AUC of 0.960 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.913-1.000)]. The XGBoost-based radiological model achieved an AUC of 0.890 (95% CI: 0.757-1.000). However, the predictive efficacy of XGBoost-based combined model was very close to that of the XGBoost-based clinical model, with an AUC of 0.955 (95% CI: 0.906-1.000). Conclusions: A XGBoost-based based clinical model on admission might be used as an effective tool to identify patients at high risk of critical illness.