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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(9)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713295

ABSTRACT

An increased incidence of chilblains has been observed during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and attributed to viral infection. Direct evidence of this relationship has been limited, however, as most cases do not have molecular evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection with PCR or antibodies. We enrolled a cohort of 23 patients who were diagnosed and managed as having SARS-CoV-2-associated skin eruptions (including 21 pandemic chilblains [PC]) during the first wave of the pandemic in Connecticut. Antibody responses were determined through endpoint titration enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and serum epitope repertoire analysis. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 were assessed by T cell receptor sequencing and in vitro SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific peptide stimulation assays. Immunohistochemical and PCR studies of PC biopsies and tissue microarrays for evidence of SARS-CoV-2 were performed. Among patients diagnosed and managed as "covid toes" during the pandemic, we find a percentage of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (9.5%) that approximates background seroprevalence (8.5%) at the time. Immunohistochemistry studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 staining in PC biopsies may not be from SARS-CoV-2. Our results do not support SARS-CoV-2 as the causative agent of pandemic chilblains; however, our study does not exclude the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 seronegative abortive infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/virology , Connecticut/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
2.
Br J Dermatol ; 185(6): 1176-1185, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455515

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of chilblain-like lesions (CLL) during the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported extensively, potentially related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, yet its underlying pathophysiology is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To study skin and blood endothelial and immune system activation in CLL in comparison with healthy controls and seasonal chilblains (SC), defined as cold-induced sporadic chilblains occurring during 2015 and 2019 with exclusion of chilblain lupus. METHODS: This observational study was conducted during 9-16 April 2020 at Saint-Louis Hospital, Paris, France. All patients referred with CLL seen during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic were included in this study. We excluded patients with a history of chilblains or chilblain lupus. Fifty patients were included. RESULTS: Histological patterns were similar and transcriptomic signatures overlapped in both the CLL and SC groups, with type I interferon polarization and a cytotoxic-natural killer gene signature. CLL were characterized by higher IgA tissue deposition and more significant transcriptomic activation of complement and angiogenesis factors compared with SC. We observed in CLL a systemic immune response associated with IgA antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies in 73% of patients, and elevated type I interferon blood signature in comparison with healthy controls. Finally, using blood biomarkers related to endothelial dysfunction and activation, and to angiogenesis or endothelial progenitor cell mobilization, we confirmed endothelial dysfunction in CLL. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support an activation loop in the skin in CLL associated with endothelial alteration and immune infiltration of cytotoxic and type I IFN-polarized cells leading to clinical manifestations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chilblains , Interferon Type I , COVID-19/immunology , Chilblains/virology , France , Humans , Interferon Type I/immunology , Pandemics
5.
Clin Exp Dermatol ; 47(2): 399-403, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365064

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute pseudoperniosis (PP) has a recognized association with COVID-19 and tends to occur without cold precipitation in young, healthy patients, often without a clear history of COVID-19. These lesions usually resolve within 2 weeks and without long-term sequelae. In the early months of 2021, patients with delayed and protracted PP began to emerge. We have called this presentation 'tardive COVID-19 PP (TCPP)'. AIM: To consolidate and expand knowledge on TCPP, we describe the clinical characteristics, treatments and outcomes of 16 patients with TCPP who were reviewed by our outpatient dermatology service. RESULTS: The initial clinical manifestations were erythema, swelling and PP of the fingers in 56.2%, and of the toes in 31.2%, desquamation in 56.2% and acrocyanosis in 12.5%. Ten patients had eventual involvement of all acral sites. The median duration of symptoms was 191 days. Six patients reported close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, but only two had positive COVID-19 tests. Four patients experienced complete or almost complete resolution of symptoms, while the rest remain under active treatment. CONCLUSION: Unlike acute PP, TCPP has a protracted and delayed presentation that is typically associated with profound acrocyanosis. Patients with TCPP represent a new phenomenon that is part of the post-COVID-19 syndrome, with risk factors and pathophysiology that are not yet fully understood. Our data indicate that likely predisposing factors for developing TCPP include young age, a preceding history of cold intolerance and an arachnodactyloid phenotype. Anorexia, connective tissue disorders or sickle cell trait may also predispose to TCPP. In addition, low titre antinuclear antibody positivity, the presence of cryoglobulins, or low complement levels may represent further risk factors. Finally, prolonged low temperatures are also likely to be contributing to the symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/diagnosis , Foot Dermatoses/diagnosis , Foot Dermatoses/virology , Hand Dermatoses/diagnosis , Hand Dermatoses/virology , Acute Disease , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Chilblains/therapy , Chilblains/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , Young Adult
6.
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
8.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(1): 84-91, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300694

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic has been associated with a new constellation of cutaneous features in children. Among the unusual dermatologic presentations are the so-called COVID toes, inflammatory nodules of the feet and toes, sometimes involving the hands and fingers. These lesions mimic acral pernio, the synonym being chilblains. Unlike adult patients with COVID toes, children are less likely to manifest symptomatic COVID-19. Although a few studies have found some linkage to COVID-19 through the serum IgA or IgG severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein, other studies have no demonstrable linkage suggesting that barefoot children in cold weather develop such lesions. It appears that the chilblain-like lesions related to the period of the COVID-19 pandemic may reflect a brisk immune response portending a good prognosis and perhaps some form of innate immunity. The possible need to screen for coagulopathy is unclear, but this has been suggested in one report. Until we fully understand the pattern of immune response to COVID-19, questions may persist as to how disease manifestations are linked to SARS-CoV-2 exposures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chilblains/virology , Foot Dermatoses/virology , Hand Dermatoses/virology , Adolescent , Chilblains/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Fingers , Foot Dermatoses/immunology , Hand Dermatoses/immunology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , SARS-CoV-2 , Toes
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
13.
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
14.
Am J Dermatopathol ; 43(2): 144-145, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263715

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The varying cutaneous and pathological manifestations of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) may have prognostic implications. Acral ischemic findings present with a hypercoagulable state in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Pathologically confirmed varicella-like exanthem and perniosis COVID-19 cases have correlated with paucisymptomatic and asymptomatic patients in previous reports. We present the second case of biopsy-proven COVID-19 infection-induced chilblains (pernio) in a paucisymptomatic patient with a brisk perieccrine lymphocytic response. Based on an antecedent pathological study, we know coronavirus particles have been seen in the eccrine gland associated with a brisk peri-inflammatory response. The prominent perieccrine inflammation is helpful in the diagnosis of COVID-19 infections. Currently, nonischemic pathological findings correlate with a good prognosis based on the paucisymptomatic or asymptomatic nature of their disease courses. Patients presenting with suspected COVID-19 infection-induced chilblains who are paucisymptomatic or asymptomatic should be isolated and immediately tested with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing (as there is a delay in diagnosis based on the poor sensitivity of the current rapid test). We continue to stress the importance of early diagnosis and quarantining to prevent spread to the older and immunocompromised patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Chilblains/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Skin/virology , Biopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Testing , Chilblains/diagnosis , Chilblains/immunology , Early Diagnosis , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Middle Aged , Skin/immunology , Skin/pathology
15.
J Cutan Med Surg ; 25(6): 627-633, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183484

ABSTRACT

Reports of chilblain-like lesions (CLL) coinciding with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been described in the literature, but this phenomenon has not been critically summarized. The aim of this paper is to summarize reports of CLL coinciding with SARS-CoV-2 infection to clarify the prevalence, clinical relevance, and prognostic value of these lesions. A literature search was conducted using the Embase, Pubmed, and Scopus databases from December 2019 to June 16, 2020 using the search terms ("COVID-19" OR "coronavirus" OR "2019-nCoV" OR "SARS-CoV-2") AND ("chilblain-like" OR "COVID toes" OR "acral"). Papers that described skin changes in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were included. A total of 31 papers were summarized, representing 813 cases of CLL. Available data suggests an equal gender distribution, mean age of 21 years, and median age of 14 years. Mild extracutaneous symptoms were reported in 53% of cases and 47% were asymptomatic. CLL occurred an average of 16 days after extracutaneous symptoms. Patients with CLL were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in 15% of cases. Lesions were mainly described as asymptomatic and/or pruritic erythematous to violaceous acral macules and plaques. Partial or complete resolution occurred in 85% of cases in a mean of 13 days. The most common histologic findings were perivascular and perieccrine superficial and deep lymphocytic infiltrates. Although a causal relationship between CLL and SARS-CoV-2 has not been confirmed, the temporal association and 15% positive SARS-CoV-2 rate in affected individuals should not be ignored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chilblains , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/physiopathology , Chilblains/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Toes/blood supply , Toes/physiopathology , Young Adult
16.
J Am Acad Dermatol ; 84(5): 1356-1363, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131418

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is associated with a wide range of skin manifestations. OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical characteristics of COVID-19-associated skin manifestations and explore the relationships among the 6 main cutaneous phenotypes and systemic findings. METHODS: Twenty-one Italian Dermatology Units were asked to collect the demographic, clinical, and histopathologic data of 200 patients with COVID-19-associated skin manifestations. The severity of COVID-19 was classified as asymptomatic, mild, moderate, or severe. RESULTS: A chilblain-like acral pattern was significantly associated with a younger age (P < .0001) and, after adjusting for age, significantly associated with less severe COVID-19 (P = .0009). However, the median duration of chilblain-like lesions was significantly longer than that of the other cutaneous manifestations taken together (P < .0001). Patients with moderate/severe COVID-19 were more represented than those with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 among the patients with cutaneous manifestations other than chilblain-like lesions, but only the confluent erythematous/maculo-papular/morbilliform phenotype was significantly associated with more severe COVID-19 (P = .015), and this significance disappeared after adjustment for age. LIMITATIONS: Laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 was not possible in all cases. CONCLUSIONS: After adjustment for age, there was no clear-cut spectrum of COVID-19 severity in patients with COVID-19-related skin manifestations, although chilblain-like acral lesions were more frequent in younger patients with asymptomatic/pauci-symptomatic COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Skin Diseases, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Age of Onset , Aged , Chilblains/virology , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Skin Diseases, Viral/pathology
17.
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
18.
Int J Dermatol ; 60(5): 547-553, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061116

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Since COVID-19 has become a pandemic, extensive literature has been produced. The commonest symptoms of COVID-19 disease are fever, cough, anosmia, and lymphocytopenia. However, other apparently less common clinical symptoms have been described, including skin lesions. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate skin involvement in COVID-19. METHODS: The authors performed a systematic review of literature, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). The search was reiterated until May 06, 2020. RESULTS: Overall, 1593 patients (M/F ratio: 1 : 9) with suspect of COVID-19 were examined. The mean age was 37.8 (range 0-91) years. Among the analyzed patients, 84 (5.3%) were pediatrics (<18 years). Chilblains are very common among skin lesions and represent almost half of all skin lesions reported (46%); in 75% of patients with cutaneous manifestation, the latter presented before other typical clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Vasculitis or thrombosis was identified in almost 70% of patients who suffered from skin manifestations. CONCLUSION: The present study highlights the importance of skin involvement in COVID-19. Limbs should be examined to eventually foresee the onset of further typical symptoms. Chilblains can be considered typical features. Studies with higher scientific evidence are required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Skin Diseases/virology , Chilblains/epidemiology , Chilblains/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Skin Diseases/epidemiology , Thrombosis/epidemiology , Thrombosis/virology , Vasculitis/epidemiology , Vasculitis/virology
19.
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
20.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(4): 989-1005, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039483

ABSTRACT

Pernio or chilblains is characterized by erythema and swelling at acral sites (eg, toes and fingers), typically triggered by cold exposure. Clinical and histopathologic features of pernio are well described, but the pathogenesis is not entirely understood; vasospasm and a type I interferon (IFN-I) immune response are likely involved. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, dermatologists have observed an increase in pernio-like acral eruptions. Direct causality of pernio due to COVID-19 has not been established in many cases because of inconsistent testing methods (often negative results) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, a form of COVID-19‒associated pernio (also called COVID toes) is probable because of increased occurrence, frequently in young patients with no cold exposure or a history of pernio, and reports of skin biopsies with positive SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry. PubMed was searched between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020 for publications using the following keywords: pernio, chilblain, and acral COVID-19. On the basis of our review of the published literature, we speculate that several unifying cutaneous and systemic mechanisms may explain COVID-19‒associated pernio: (1) SARS-CoV-2 cell infection occurs through the cellular receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 mediated by transmembrane protease serine 2, subsequently affecting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system with an increase in the vasoconstricting, pro-inflammatory, and prothrombotic angiotensin II pathway. (2) Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 cell infection triggers an immune response with robust IFN-I release in patients predisposed to COVID-19‒associated pernio. (3) Age and sex discrepancies correlated with COVID-19 severity and manifestations, including pernio as a sign of mild disease, are likely explained by age-related immune and vascular differences influenced by sex hormones and genetics, which affect susceptibility to viral cellular infection, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system balance, and the IFN-I response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chilblains , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vasoconstriction , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chilblains/immunology , Chilblains/physiopathology , Chilblains/virology , Disease Susceptibility , Fingers/blood supply , Humans , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , Toes/blood supply
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