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1.
Cells ; 11(5)2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725524

ABSTRACT

Among the first clinical symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection is olfactory-gustatory deficit; this continues for weeks and, in some cases, can be persistent. We prospectively evaluated 162 patients affected by COVID-19 using a visual analogue scale (VAS) for nasal and olfactory-gustatory symptoms. Patients were checked after 7, 14, 21, 28, 90, and 180 days. A total of 118 patients (72.8%) reported an olfactory VAS < 7 at baseline (group B), and 44 (27.2%) reported anosmia (VAS ≥ 7) (group A) and underwent the Brief Smell Identification Test (B-SIT) and Burghart Taste Strips (BTS) to quantify the deficit objectively and repeated the tests to confirm the sense recovery. Group A patients showed B-SIT anosmia and hyposmia in 44.2% and 55.8% of cases, respectively. A total of 88.6% of group A patients reported ageusia with VAS ≥ 7, and BTS confirmed 81.8% of ageusia and 18.2% of hypogeusia. VAS smell recovery was recorded starting from 14 days, with normalization at 28 days. The 28-day B-SIT score showed normosmia in 90.6% of group A patients. The mean time for full recovery (VAS = 0) was shorter in group B (22.9 days) than in group A (31.9 days). Chemosensory deficit is frequently the first symptom in patients with COVID-19, and, in most cases, recovery occurs after four weeks.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686821

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dictated new priorities in biomedicine research. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. In this pilot study, we optimized our padlock assay to visualize genomic and subgenomic regions using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental samples obtained from a confirmed case of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was localized in trophoblastic cells. We also checked the presence of the virion by immunolocalization of its glycoprotein spike. In addition, we imaged mitochondria of placental villi keeping in mind that the mitochondrion has been suggested as a potential residence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We observed a substantial overlapping of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and mitochondria in trophoblastic cells. This intriguing linkage correlated with an aberrant mitochondrial network. Overall, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that provides evidence of colocalization of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and mitochondria in SARS-CoV-2 infected tissue. These findings also support the notion that SARS-CoV-2 infection can reprogram mitochondrial activity in the highly specialized maternal-fetal interface.


Subject(s)
Mitochondria/virology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Placenta/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , DNA Probes/metabolism , Female , Humans , Pilot Projects , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
3.
Ear Nose Throat J ; : 1455613211029783, 2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329093

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this observational retrospective study was to evaluate, in patients with a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, the association between the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) respiratory illness and the risk of infected patients to develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). METHODS: Ninety-six patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were enrolled in the study. The STOP-BANG questionnaire to investigate the risk of the OSA syndrome was filled in by the patients at admission. The enrolled patients were divided into 2 groups according to the respiratory disease: group 1 (72 patients), hospitalized patients undergoing conventional oxygen therapy; group 2 (24 patients), patients requiring enhanced respiratory support. STOP-BANG results of these 2 groups were compared to observe whether patients with high OSA risk more frequently presented a severe form of COVID-19. RESULTS: 41.6% of the patients in group 2 had a STOP-BANG score between 5 and 8 (high risk of having apnea); in contrast, 20.8% of the patients in group 1 had a STOP-BANG score between 5 and 8, with a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups (P = .05). A complementary trend was observed regarding the proportion of patients in the range 0 to 2, which classifies patients at a low risk of OSA (48.6% vs 20.8% for groups 1 and 2, P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: According to our data, the chances of having a severe case of COVID-19 should be considered in patients at high risk of OSA. CURRENT KNOWLEDGE/STUDY RATIONALE: Emerging research suggests that OSA could represent a potentially important risk factor for the severe forms of COVID-19. The purpose of this observational retrospective study was to evaluate the potential association between OSA and the severity of COVID-19 disease. STUDY IMPACT: According to our data, the likelihood of contracting a severe form of COVID-19 disease should be considered in patients at high risk of OSA.

4.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 279(5): 2383-2389, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293367

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To compare and analyze the incidence of otitis media with effusion (OME), before and during the COVID-19-related pandemic period, to evaluate the effects of the social changes (lockdown, continuous use of facial masks, social distancing, reduction of social activities) in the OME incidence in children and adults. METHODS: The number of diagnosed OME in e five referral centers, between 1 March 2018 and 1 March 2021, has been reviewed and collected. To estimate the reduction of OME incidence in children and adults during the COVID-19 pandemic period the OME incidence in three period of time were evaluated and compared: group 1-patients with OME diagnosis achieved between 1/03/2018 and 01/03/2019 (not pandemic period). Group 2-patients with OME diagnosis achieved between 1/03/2019 and 1/03/2020 (not pandemic period). Group 3-patients with OME diagnosis achieved between 1/03/2020 and 1/03/2021 (COVID-19 pandemic period). RESULTS: In the non-pandemic periods (group 1 and 2), the incidence of OME in the five referral centers considered was similar, with 482 and 555 diagnosed cases, respectively. In contrast, the OME incidence in the same centers, during the pandemic period (group 3) was clearly reduced with a lower total number of 177 cases of OME estimated. Percentage variation in OME incidence between the first non-pandemic year considered (group 1) and the pandemic period (group 3) was-63, 3%, with an absolute value decrease value of-305 cases. Similarly, comparing the second non-pandemic year (group 2) and the pandemic year (group 3) the percentage variation of OME incidence was-68, 1% with an absolute value of-305 cases decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed a lower incidence of OME during the pandemic period compared with 2 previous non pandemic years. The drastic restrictive anti-contagion measures taken by the Italian government to contain the spread of COVID-19 could have had a positive impact on the lower OME incidence during the last pandemic year.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Otitis Media with Effusion , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Incidence , Otitis Media with Effusion/surgery , Pandemics
5.
Sci Prog ; 104(2): 36850421998487, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207543

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic had a significant impact on the Italian healthcare system, although geographical differences were present; regions in northern Italy have been the most severely affected while regions in the south of the country were relatively spared. Otolaryngologists were actively involved in the management of the pandemic. In this work, we analyzed and compared the otolaryngology surgical activity performed during the pandemic in two large public hospitals located in different Italian regions. In northern Italy, otolaryngologists were mainly involved in performing surgical tracheotomies in COVID-19 positive patients and contributed to the management of these patients in intensive care units. In central Italy, where the burden of the infection was significantly lower, otolaryngologists focused on diagnosis and treatment of emergency and oncology patients. This analysis confirms the important role of the otolaryngology specialists during the pandemic, but also highlights specific differences between two large hospitals in different Italian regions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Otolaryngology/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/surgery , COVID-19/virology , Geography , Hospitals , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Italy/epidemiology , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tracheotomy
6.
Bosn J Basic Med Sci ; 21(1): 117-119, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052562

ABSTRACT

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Italy has been one of the most affected countries in Europe and the second for number of deaths. In this commentary, we discuss some lessons that we learned as health-care providers working in a large public hospital during the pandemic, with a special focus on the importance of infection containment and early diagnosis, the role of swab, serological tests, home isolation and individual protection  devices, and the available therapies and management indications to better face a possible new outbreak in the near future. These comments should stimulate a more diffused, efficient, and efficacious management of COVID-19 patients, also reducing the number of admissions to hospital emergency departments and the related spread of the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Communicable Disease Control , Critical Care , Health Personnel , Hospitalization , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Admission , Physical Distancing , Quarantine , Treatment Outcome
9.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(1): 86-88, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306370

ABSTRACT

Otolaryngology and head and neck surgery underwent drastic changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 10, the first day of the lockdown in Italy, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures were limited to emergency and oncology cases, while outpatient procedures and clinical examinations were temporarily suspended to limit virus diffusion and to reallocate personnel into wards dedicated to COVID-19. In our otolaryngology unit, between March 10 and April 28, 2020, we performed 96 surgical procedures; they mainly consisted in diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors of the head and neck (77%), management of acute upper airway obstruction in adults and children (14.7%), drainage of abscesses of the head and neck (6.2%), and treatment of nasal bone fractures (2.1%). When comparing these data with those of the same period in 2019 for emergency and oncology procedures, we noticed a drastic reduction of head and neck abscesses and nasal bone fractures, while oncology surgery remained stable.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/surgery , Hospitals, University , Otolaryngology/organization & administration , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Head and Neck Neoplasms/complications , Humans , Italy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(1): 75-77, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-175753

ABSTRACT

Epistaxis is a common complaint in the general population, and its treatment is a common procedure in emergency departments. In the COVID-19 era, procedures involving airway management are a particular risk for health care workers due to the high virulence of the virus, the transmission through aerosol, and the risk of contagion from asymptomatic patients. In this article, we propose a simple memorandum of clinical recommendations to minimize the risk of operator infection deriving from epistaxis management. The correct use of personal protective equipment and strict compliance with the behavioral guidelines are essential to reduce the potential risk of infection. In particular, the use of filtering masks is strongly recommended since all patients, including those referring for epistaxis, should be treated as being COVID-19 positive in the emergency department. The safety of health care workers is essential not only to safeguard continuous patient care but also to limit virus transmission.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Epistaxis/therapy , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Practice Guidelines as Topic , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Management , Epistaxis/etiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Ear Nose Throat J ; 99(9): 565-566, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141704

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic during the first months of 2020 is causing profound changes in worldwide health care systems, resulting in a major reduction of surgical interventions and routine non-urgent outpatient diagnostic procedures. The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, one of the most affected countries in Europe, is having severe effects on the otolaryngology medical and surgical activities. The main changes are represented by the postponement of outpatient visits and scheduled surgery, while the only guaranteed service is reserved to diagnostics and surgery for oncology and urgent patients. In these cases, given the sites of action typical of the otolaryngology practice, physicians and nurses are exposed to a high risk of contagion through virus aerosol transmission. Furthermore, as the current measures of lockdown continue, it will be difficult to perform scheduled and new diagnostic assessments, medical treatments and surgical procedures in a timely manner favoring the risk of diagnostic and therapeutic delays with severe impact on patients' health.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/surgery , Otolaryngology , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biopsy/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Head and Neck Neoplasms/pathology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tracheostomy/statistics & numerical data
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