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1.
Clin Immunol ; 237: 108984, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838656

ABSTRACT

The exact etiopathology of chilblains observed during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still unclear. Initially, SARS-CoV-2 appeared as the obvious causing agent, but two years of various investigations have failed to convincingly support its direct implication. Most affected individuals have no detectable virus, no anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and no symptoms of COVID-19. Analyses of skin biopsies similarly failed to unambiguously demonstrate presence of the virus or its genome. In a recent hypothesis, SARS-CoV-2 would cause the lesions before being promptly eliminated by unusually strong type I interferon responses. With others, we feel that environmental factors have not been sufficiently considered, in particular cold exposure related to unprecedented containment measures. The cause of pandemic chilblains remains a stimulating puzzle which warrants further investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chilblains , Chilblains/diagnosis , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/pathology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin/pathology
4.
J Cutan Pathol ; 49(9): 791-794, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774773

ABSTRACT

During the 2020 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, several cutaneous lesions were identified, including pseudo-chilblain, vesicular, urticarial, maculopapular, and livedo/necrosis. A 59-year-old obese man with probable COVID-19 developed painful cyanosis with histopathologic capillary thrombosis of toes, and the cyanosis persisted for nearly 22 months. Shortly after initial exposure to family members with documented SARS-CoV-2, he developed upper respiratory symptoms, yet his anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody and nasal swab RT-PCR tests were repeatedly negative. Two family members were hospitalized and one of them succumbed with documented SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia within 10 days of exposure. Biopsy specimen of the distal toe 16 weeks after initial exposure showed papillary dermal capillary thrombosis with endothelial swelling, telangiectasia, and peri-eccrine lymphocytic infiltrates resembling pernio. Overall, this is the first case of biopsy specimen of "long COVID toe" following presumed SARS-CoV-2 exposure, with a demonstration of thrombotic vasculopathy, toe cyanosis, and pernio-like pathology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cyanosis , Thrombosis , Toes , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Chilblains/pathology , Cyanosis/complications , Cyanosis/pathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/pathology , Time Factors , Toes/pathology
8.
J Cutan Pathol ; 49(1): 17-28, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The abundance of publications of COVID-19-induced chilblains has resulted in a confusing situation. METHODS: This is a prospective single-institution study from 15 March to 13 May 2020. Thirty-two patients received PCR nasopharyngeal swabs. Of these, 28 patients had a thoracic CT-scan, 31 patients had blood and urine examinations, 24 patients had skin biopsies including immunohistochemical and direct immunofluorescence studies, and four patients had electron microscopy. RESULTS: COVID-19-induced chilblains are clinically and histopathologically identical to chilblains from other causes. Although intravascular thrombi are sometimes observed, no patient had a systemic coagulopathy or severe clinical course. The exhaustive clinical, radiological, and laboratory work-up in this study ruled-out other primary and secondary causes. Electron microscopy revealed rare, probable viral particles whose core and spikes measured from 120 to 133 nm within endothelium and eccrine glands in two cases. CONCLUSION: This study provides further clinicopathologic evidence of COVID-19-related chilblains. Negative PCR and antibody tests do not rule-out infection. Chilblains represent a good prognosis, occurring later in the disease course. No systemic coagulopathy was identified in any patient. Patients presenting with acral lesions should be isolated, and chilblains should be distinguished from thrombotic lesions (livedo racemosa, retiform purpura, or ischemic acral necrosis).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chilblains/etiology , Chilblains/pathology , Toes/pathology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Biopsy/methods , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chilblains/diagnosis , Chilblains/virology , Child , Diagnosis, Differential , Eccrine Glands/pathology , Eccrine Glands/ultrastructure , Eccrine Glands/virology , Endothelium/pathology , Endothelium/ultrastructure , Endothelium/virology , Female , Humans , Livedo Reticularis/pathology , Male , Microscopy, Electron/methods , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Purpura/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Skin/pathology , Toes/virology , Young Adult
9.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(1): 12-22, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300687

ABSTRACT

A wide range of cutaneous signs are attributed to COVID-19 infection. This retrospective study assesses the presence and impact of dermatologic manifestations related to the spread of COVID-19 in Lombardy, the geographic district with the first outbreak in Italy. A cohort of 345 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 was collected from February 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020. Cutaneous signs and dermatologic diagnoses were recorded on admission, and during the course of the disease. Of the 345 patients included in the study, 52 (15%) had new-onset dermatologic conditions related to COVID-19. We observed seven major cutaneous clinical patterns, merged under 3 main groups: Exanthems, vascular lesions, and other cutaneous manifestations. Each subset was detailed with prevalence, age, duration, prognosis, and histology. Cutaneous findings can lead to suspect COVID-19 infection and identify potentially contagious cases with indolent course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Skin Diseases/epidemiology , Skin Diseases/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Chilblains/pathology , Chilblains/virology , Child , Erythema Multiforme/virology , Exanthema/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Diseases/pathology , Skin Diseases, Vascular/virology , Urticaria/virology , Young Adult
10.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(1): 149-162, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300684

ABSTRACT

Skin is one of target organs affected by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, a fast body of literature has emerged on related cutaneous manifestations. Current perspective is that the skin is not only a bystander of the general cytokines storm with thrombophilic multiorgan injury, but it is directly affected by the epithelial tropism of the virus, as confirmed by the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in endothelial cells and epithelial cells of epidermis and eccrine glands. In contrast with the abundance of epidemiologic and clinical reports, histopathologic characterization of skin manifestations is limited. Without an adequate clinicopathologic correlation, nosology of clinically similar conditions is confusing, and effective association with COVID-19 remains presumptive. Several patients with different types of skin lesions, including the most specific acral chilblains-like lesions, showed negative results at SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal and serologic sampling. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of what has currently been reported worldwide, with a particular emphasis on microscopic patterns of the skin manifestations in patients exposed to or affected by COVID-19. Substantial breakthroughs may occur in the near future from more skin biopsies, improvement of immunohistochemistry studies, RNA detection of SARS-CoV-2 strain by real-time polymerase chain reaction-based assay, and electron microscopic studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Skin Diseases/pathology , Skin Diseases/virology , Skin/pathology , Chilblains/pathology , Chilblains/virology , Erythema Multiforme/pathology , Erythema Multiforme/virology , Exanthema/pathology , Exanthema/virology , Humans , Necrosis/virology , Purpura/pathology , Purpura/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/complications , Urticaria/pathology , Urticaria/virology
12.
Adv Skin Wound Care ; 34(7): 348-354, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268079

ABSTRACT

GENERAL PURPOSE: To familiarize wound care practitioners with the differential diagnoses of chilblains-like lesions that could be associated with the complications of COVID-19. TARGET AUDIENCE: This continuing education activity is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses with an interest in skin and wound care. LEARNING OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES: After participating in this educational activity, the participant will:1. Identify the population most often affected by COVID toes.2. Select the assessments that help differentiate the various conditions that cause chilblains-like lesions.3. Choose appropriate treatment options for the various conditions that cause chilblains-like lesions.


This review article focuses on the pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnostic testing of the common pathologies that can manifest as chilblains-like lesions. These differentials include "COVID toes," Raynaud phenomenon, acrocyanosis, critical limb ischemia, thromboangiitis obliterans, chilblains associated with lupus erythematosus, and idiopathic chilblains. The authors present a helpful mnemonic, ARCTIC, to assist clinicians in recognition and diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Chilblains/diagnosis , Skin Diseases/diagnosis , COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/pathology , Chilblains/virology , Diagnosis, Differential , Fingers/pathology , Humans , Skin Diseases/pathology , Skin Diseases/virology , Symptom Assessment , Toes/pathology
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2111369, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263036

ABSTRACT

Importance: Chilblain-like lesions have been one of the most frequently described cutaneous manifestations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their etiopathogenesis, including the role of SARS-CoV-2, remains elusive. Objective: To examine the association of chilblain-like lesions with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective case series enrolled 17 adolescents who presented with chilblain-like lesions from April 1 to June 30, 2020, at a tertiary referral academic hospital in Italy. Main Outcomes and Measures: Macroscopic (clinical and dermoscopic) and microscopic (histopathologic) analysis contributed to a thorough understanding of the lesions. Nasopharyngeal swab, serologic testing, and in situ hybridization of the skin biopsy specimens were performed to test for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Laboratory tests explored signs of systemic inflammation or thrombophilia. Structural changes in peripheral microcirculation were investigated by capillaroscopy. Results: Of the 17 adolescents (9 [52.9%] male; median [interquartile range] age, 13.2 [12.5-14.3] years) enrolled during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 16 (94.1%) had bilaterally localized distal erythematous or cyanotic lesions. A triad of red dots (16 [100%]), white rosettes (11 [68.8%]), and white streaks (10 [62.5%]) characterized the dermoscopic picture. Histologic analysis revealed a remodeling of the dermal blood vessels with a lobular arrangement, wall thickening, and a mild perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate. SARS-CoV-2 infection was excluded by molecular and serologic testing. In situ hybridization did not highlight the viral genome in the lesions. Conclusions and Relevance: This study delineated the clinical, histologic, and laboratory features of chilblain-like lesions that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its findings do not support their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The lesions occurred in otherwise healthy adolescents, had a long but benign course to self-resolution, and were characterized by a microvascular remodeling with perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate but no other signs of vasculitis. These results suggest that chilblain-like lesions do not imply a concomitant SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ongoing studies will help clarify the etiopathogenic mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chilblains , Skin/pathology , Toes/pathology , Vascular Remodeling , Adolescent , Chilblains/etiology , Chilblains/pathology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Italy , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Male , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin/blood supply , Toes/blood supply
14.
Cutis ; 107(3): 139-142, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207921

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been a rise in the diagnosis of acral lesions, including chilblains-like lesions, ischemia, and retiform purpura. Understanding the differences in presentation and severity of illness between children and adult patients is important for physicians to understand risk stratification and management of these lesions. We reviewed the literature on the acral lesions seen in children and adults with COVID-19 infection to offer guidelines for diagnosis and treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Chilblains/diagnosis , Skin Diseases/diagnosis , Adult , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Chilblains/pathology , Child , Humans , Skin Diseases/pathology , Symptom Assessment
15.
Br J Dermatol ; 183(4): 729-737, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081133

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Chilblains ('COVID toes') are being seen with increasing frequency in children and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Detailed histopathological descriptions of COVID-19 chilblains have not been reported, and causality of SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been established. OBJECTIVES: To describe the histopathological features of COVID-19 chilblains and to explore the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the tissue. METHODS: We examined skin biopsies from seven paediatric patients presenting with chilblains during the COVID-19 pandemic. Immunohistochemistry for SARS-CoV-2 was performed in all cases and electron microscopy in one. RESULTS: Histopathology showed variable degrees of lymphocytic vasculitis ranging from endothelial swelling and endotheliitis to fibrinoid necrosis and thrombosis. Purpura, superficial and deep perivascular lymphocytic inflammation with perieccrine accentuation, oedema, and mild vacuolar interface damage were also seen. SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry was positive in endothelial cells and epithelial cells of eccrine glands. Coronavirus particles were found in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells on electron microscopy. CONCLUSIONS: Although the clinical and histopathological features were similar to other forms of chilblains, the presence of viral particles in the endothelium and the histological evidence of vascular damage support a causal relation of the lesions with SARS-CoV-2. Endothelial damage induced by the virus could be the key mechanism in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 chilblains and perhaps also in a group of patients severely affected by COVID-19 presenting with features of microangiopathic damage. What is already known about this topic? Despite the high number of cases of chilblains seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, a definite causative role for SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been proven. Different pathogenetic hypotheses have been proposed, including coagulation anomalies, interferon release and external factors. What does this study add? The demonstration of SARS-CoV-2 in endothelial cells of skin biopsies by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy confirms that these lesions are part of the spectrum of COVID-19. Virus-induced vascular damage and secondary ischaemia could explain the pathophysiology of COVID-19 chilblains. Our findings support the hypothesis that widespread endothelial infection by SARS-CoV-2 could have a pathogenetic role in the severe forms of COVID-19. Linked Comment: Wetter. Br J Dermatol 2020; 183:611.


Subject(s)
Chilblains/virology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Skin Diseases/virology , Vasculitis/virology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Biopsy , COVID-19 , Chilblains/pathology , Child , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/ultrastructure , Endothelial Cells/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Microscopy, Electron , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin/blood supply , Skin/pathology , Skin/virology , Skin Diseases/pathology , Vasculitis/pathology
16.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 53-55, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059638

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Numerous of cases of chilblains have been observed, mainly in young subjects with no or mild symptoms compatible with COVID-19. The pathophysiology of these lesions is still widely debated and an association with SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unconfirmed. OBJECTIVES: This paper focus on the unresolved issues about these COVID toes and in particular whether or not they are associated with COVID-19. ARGUMENTS: The temporal link between the outbreak of chilblains and the COVID-19 pandemic is a first suggests a link between the two events. Positive anti-SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 immunostaining on skin biopsy of chilblains seem to confirm the presence of the virus in the lesions, but lack specificity and must be interpreted with caution. Conversely, RT-PCR and anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology were negative in the majority of patients with chilblains. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 infection can be excluded, with relative certainty, even after accounting for possible lower immunization in mild/asymptomatic patients and for some differences in sensitivity/specificity between the tests used. Some authors hypothesize that chilblains could be the cutaneous expression of a strong type I interferon (IFN-I) response. High production of IFN-I is suggested to be associated with early viral control and may suppress antibody response. However, the absence of other cutaneous or extracutaneous symptoms as observed in other interferonopathies raises unanswered questions. To date, a direct link between chilblains and COVID-19 still seems impossible to confirm. A more indirect association due to lifestyle changes induced by lockdown is a possible explanation. Improvement of chilblains when protective measures were adopted and after lifting of lockdown, support this hypothesis. CONCLUSION: Conflicting current evidence highlights the need for systematic and repeated testing of larger numbers of patients and the need for valid follow-up data that take into consideration epidemic curves and evolution of lockdown measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Chilblains/virology , Biopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Chilblains/diagnosis , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/pathology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Skin/pathology , Toes/pathology
17.
Clin Dermatol ; 38(6): 764-767, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1030520

ABSTRACT

"COVID toes" are a new phenomenon of pernio-like lesions that has been associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. As dermatology practices reopen and increase patient volumes amid the waning of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to consider the finding of pernio and pernio-like lesions in the context of both COVID-19 and its other possible etiologies. This contribution will discuss possible causes of pernio and pernio-like lesions and offer suggestions for appropriate diagnostic workup and management when indicated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/virology , Skin Diseases/virology , Chilblains/diagnosis , Chilblains/pathology , Humans , Medical History Taking , SARS-CoV-2 , Toes
18.
Ann Dermatol Venereol ; 148(2): 94-100, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A marked increase in frequency of acute acral eruptions (AAE) was observed in children during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring period. OBJECTIVES: In this observational multicenter study, based on children with AAE, we aimed to assess the proportion of household members possibly infected by SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We collected data from all children observed with AAE, prospectively from April 7, 2020 to June 22, 2020, and retrospectively since February 28, 2020. The primary outcome was the household infection rate, defined as the proportion of family clusters having at least one member with COVID-19 infection other than the child with AAE ("index child"). The definition of a case was based on characteristic clinical signs and a positive PCR or serology. RESULTS: The study included 103 children in 10 French departments and in Quebec. The median age was 13 years and the interquartile range [8-15], with a female-to-male ratio of 1/1.15. In children with AAE, all PCR tests were negative (n=18), and serology was positive in 2/14 (14.3%) cases. We found no significant anomalies in the lab results. A total of 66 of the 103 families (64.1%) of included children had at least one other infected member apart from the index child. The total number of household members was 292, of whom 119 (40.8%) were considered possibly infected by SARS-CoV-2. No index children or households exhibited severe COVID-19. DISCUSSION: Among the 103 households included, 64.1% had at least one infected member. Neither children with AAE nor their households showed severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Family , Adolescent , Antibodies, Antinuclear/blood , COVID-19/transmission , Chilblains/pathology , Child , Erythema/pathology , Female , Hidradenitis/pathology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Lymphocytes/pathology , Male , Mucinoses/pathology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Skin/pathology , Vasculitis/pathology
19.
Clin Exp Dermatol ; 46(3): 444-450, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955618

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The initial recognized symptoms were respiratory, sometimes culminating in severe respiratory distress requiring ventilation, and causing death in a percentage of those infected. As time has passed, other symptoms have been recognized. The initial reports of cutaneous manifestations were from Italian dermatologists, probably because Italy was the first European country to be heavily affected by the pandemic. The overall clinical presentation, course and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children differ from those in adults as do the cutaneous manifestations of childhood. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19 in children after thorough and critical review of articles published in the literature and from the personal experience of a large panel of paediatric dermatologists in Europe. In Part 1, we discuss one of the first and most widespread cutaneous manifestation of COVID-19, chilblain-like lesions. In Part 2, we review other manifestations, including erythema multiforme, urticaria and Kawasaki disease-like inflammatory multisystemic syndrome, while in Part 3, we discuss the histological findings of COVID-19 manifestations, and the testing and management of infected children, for both COVID-19 and any other pre-existing conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/virology , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Chilblains/immunology , Chilblains/pathology , Child , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Remission, Spontaneous , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/etiology , Vasculitis/etiology
20.
Am J Dermatopathol ; 43(4): e47-e50, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913264

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Biopsies were taken from 4 patients who presented to their dermatologist with violaceous papules and plaques of the dorsal toes (COVID Toes) associated with varying degrees of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 exposure and COVID-19 testing. Major histopathologic findings were lymphocytic eccrine inflammation and a spectrum of vasculopathic findings to include superficial and deep angiocentric-perivascular lymphocytic inflammation, lymphocytes in vessel walls (lymphocytic vasculitis), endothelial swelling, red blood cell extravasation, and focal deposits of fibrin in both vessel lumina, and vessel walls. Interface changes were observed to include vacuolopathy and apoptotic keratinocytes at the basement membrane. Immunostains showed a dominant T-cell lineage (positive for T-cell receptor beta, CD2, CD3, CD5, and CD7). B-cells were rare and clusters of CD123-positive dermal plasmacytoid dendritic cells were observed surrounding eccrine clusters and some perivascular zones. The consistent perieccrine and vasculopathic features represent important pathologic findings in the diagnosis of COVID toes and are suggestive of pathogenetic mechanisms. Clinicopathologic correlation, the epidemiological backdrop, and the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic favor a viral causation and should alert the physician to initiate a workup and the appropriate use of COVID-19 testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Chilblains/virology , Purpura/virology , Toes/pathology , Vascular Diseases/virology , Adult , Chilblains/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Purpura/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular Diseases/pathology , Young Adult
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