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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(20): 6439-6442, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503076


Arterial thromboembolic complications reported in patients with COVID-19 infection suggested that SARS-CoV-2 can trigger atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. While endothelial cells in healthy subjects protect against thrombus formation, after injury they show prothrombotic activity. In addition, it has been hypothesized that "cytokine storm" might stimulate the production of neo-platelets triggering an abnormal "immunothrombosis" responsible for the hypercoagulable state induced in COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study is to report a case of severe COVID-19 infection characterized by the occurrence of microthrombosis in the vasa vasorum of the aorta. A 67-year-old male patient, in good health status and without comorbidities, who underwent a severe COVID-19 infection with fatal outcome, showed scattered aortic atherosclerotic plaques, characterized by multiple occlusive micro-thromboses in the vasa vasorum, spread out lymphocytic infiltrates and foci of endotheliitis and endothelial detachment. This case report confirms the previously described thrombotic involvement of vasa vasorum in COVID-19. The occurrence of the synchronous damage involving both the lumen surface (endothelial dysfunction, endotheliitis and endothelial detachment) and the adventitia (inflammation and occlusive thrombosis of vasa vasorum) could be the key points related to the fatal outcome of the SARS-CoV-2 patients. In our opinion, vasa vasorum thrombosis may thus initiate an atherogenic process that could be characterized by a much more rapid development.

Aortic Diseases/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Microvessels/pathology , Plaque, Atherosclerotic/pathology , Vasa Vasorum/pathology , Aged , Aortic Diseases/pathology , Humans , Male
Ann Vasc Surg ; 75: 109-119, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163380


BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection has emerged as one of viral major clinical features during actual pandemic; limb arterial ischemic events, venous thrombosis, acute myocardial infection and stroke have occurred in patients. Acute aortic conditions have also been described, followed by interesting observations on cases, hypothesis, raised since the emergence of the pandemics. METHODS: a review of cases in literature of aortic pathology in patients with clinically suspected/microbiologically confirmed COVID-19 infection has been carried out to analyze anagraphic data, clinical presentation, treatment options and outcome. RESULTS: Seventeen cases have been included. Mean age of patients was 58.6 ± 15.2 years, with a male to female ratio of 12:15 (70.5% vs. 29.5%). Comorbidities were reported in 11 cases (64.7%), but in 5 cases (29.4%) no previous pathology was signaled in history. Hypertension was the most frequently reported comorbidity, in 8 cases, (47%), followed by renal pathology (17.6%), coronary artery disease (17.6%), previous aortic surgery (11.7%) and arrhythmia (11.7%); but also cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, previous neoplasia and arrhythmia were reported once each. Fever and thoracic pain were the most frequently reported findings at presentation (8 cases, 47% each), followed by respiratory symptoms (6, 35.2%), low lymphocyte count (17.6%), features related to aneurysm rupture, ischemic stroke, abdominal pain and acute renal insufficiency. Reported aortic pathology included: type A aortic dissection (11 cases; 64.7%); new pathology of previous aortic graft (2 cases, 11.7%); 2 aortitis, 1 associated with type A aortic dissection; 1 thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysm, 1 ruptured aortic aneurysm and 1 aortic embolizing thrombosis. Open surgery was carried out in 10 cases (58.8%), endovascular treatment in 3 (17.6%). Three patients (17.6%) died before surgery. Exitus was reported in 4 cases, with a total mortality of 23.5%. CONCLUSIONS: Acute aortic events have occurred during pandemic in patients with clinically suspected/microbiologically confirmed COVID-19 infection. Confounding clinical features at presentation, the importance of anamnestic details (as previous vascular graft implant), the observed surgical and postoperatory challenges may suggest the need to consider the implications of the possible link between acute aortic events and SARS-CoV-2 infection, in order to promptly correctly diagnose the patient and respond to specific needs.

Aorta/pathology , Aortic Diseases/pathology , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aorta/surgery , Aortic Diseases/mortality , Aortic Diseases/therapy , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis ; 31(1): 344-353, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-755567


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death worldwide, but the collective efforts to prevent this pathological condition are directed exclusively to individuals at higher risk due to hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, obesity, diabetes. Recently, vitamin D deficiency was identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in healthy people, as it predisposes to different vascular dysfunctions that can result in plaque development and fragility. In this scenario, the fundamental aim of the study was to reproduce a disease model inducing vitamin D deficiency and atheromatosis in ApoE-/- mice and then to evaluate the impact of this vitamin D status on the onset/progression of atheromatosis, focusing on plaque formation and instability. METHODS AND RESULTS: In our murine disease model, vitamin D deficiency was achieved by 3 weeks of vitamin D deficient diet along with intraperitoneal paricalcitol injections, while atheromatosis by western-type diet administration. Under these experimental conditions, vitamin D deficient mice developed more unstable atheromatous plaques with reduced or absent fibrotic cap. Since calcium and phosphorus metabolism and also cholesterol and triglycerides systemic concentration were not affected by vitamin D level, our results highlighted the role of vitamin D deficiency in the formation/instability of atheromatous plaque and, although further studies are needed, suggested a possible intervention with vitamin D to prevent or delay the atheromatous disease. CONCLUSIONS: The data obtained open the question about the potential role of the vitamins in the pharmacological treatments of cardiovascular disorders as coadjutant of the primary drugs used for these pathologies.

Aortic Diseases/etiology , Atherosclerosis/etiology , Vitamin D Deficiency/complications , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Aorta/metabolism , Aorta/pathology , Aortic Diseases/blood , Aortic Diseases/pathology , Atherosclerosis/blood , Atherosclerosis/pathology , Biomarkers/blood , Diet, High-Fat , Disease Models, Animal , Fibrosis , Lipids/blood , Mice, Knockout, ApoE , Plaque, Atherosclerotic , Rupture, Spontaneous , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D Deficiency/blood