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1.
Eur J Radiol ; 150: 110259, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748029

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: It is known from histology studies that lung vessels are affected in viral pneumonia. However, their diagnostic potential as a chest CT imaging parameter has only rarely been exploited. The purpose of this study is to develop a robust method for automated lung vessel segmentation and morphology analysis and apply it to a large chest CT dataset. METHODS: In total, 509 non-enhanced chest CTs (NECTs) and 563 CT pulmonary angiograms (CTPAs) were included. Sub-groups were patients with healthy lungs (group_NORM, n = 634) and those RT-PCR-positive for Influenza A/B (group_INF, n = 159) and SARS-CoV-2 (group_COV, n = 279). A lung vessel segmentation algorithm (LVSA) based on traditional image processing was developed, validated with a point-of-interest approach, and applied to a large clinical dataset. Total blood vessel volume in lung (TBV) and the blood vessel volume percentage (BV%) of three blood vessel size types were calculated and compared between groups: small (BV5%, cross-sectional area < 5 mm2), medium (BV5-10%, 5-10 mm2) and large (BV10%, >10 mm2). RESULTS: Sensitivity of the LVSA was 84.6% (95 %CI: 73.9-95.3) for NECTs and 92.8% (95 %CI: 90.8-94.7) for CTPAs. In viral pneumonia, besides an increased TBV, the main finding was a significantly decreased BV5% in group_COV (n = 14%) and group_INF (n = 15%) compared to group_NORM (n = 18%) [p < 0.001]. At the same time, BV10% was increased (group_COV n = 15% and group_INF n = 14% vs. group_NORM n = 11%; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In COVID-19 and Influenza, the blood vessel volume is redistributed from small to large vessels in the lung. Automated LSVA allows researchers and clinicians to derive imaging parameters for large amounts of CTs. This can enhance the understanding of vascular changes, particularly in infectious lung diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Pneumonia, Viral , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnostic imaging , Lung/blood supply , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2022: 1630918, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714452

ABSTRACT

Background: The impairment of microcirculation is associated with the unfavorable outcome for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patients. Studies revealed that pulsatile modification improves hemodynamics and attenuates inflammation during ECMO support. However, whether flow pattern impacts microcirculation and endothelial integrity is rarely documented. The objective of this work was to explore how pulsatility affects microcirculation during ECMO. Methods: Canine animal models with cardiac arrest were supported by ECMO, with the i-Cor system used to generate nonpulsatile or pulsatile flow. The sublingual microcirculation parameters were examined using the CytoCam microscope system. The expression of hsa_circ_0007367, a circular RNA, was measured during ECMO support. In vitro validation was performed in pulmonary vascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) exposed to pulsatile or nonpulsatile flow, and the expressions of hsa_circ_0007367, endothelial tight junction markers, endothelial adhesive molecules, endothelial nitric oxide synthases (eNOS), and NF-κB signaling activity were analyzed. Results: The pulsatile modification of ECMO enhanced microcirculatory perfusion, attenuated pulmonary inflammation, and stabilized endothelial integrity in animal models; meanwhile, the expression of hsa_circ_0007367 was significantly upregulated both in animals and PMVECs exposed to pulsatile flow. In particular, upregulation of hsa_circ_0007367 stabilized the expressions of endothelial tight junction markers zonula occludens- (ZO-) 1 and occludin, followed by modulating the endothelial nitric oxide synthases (eNOS) activity and inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway. Conclusion: The modification of pulsatility contributes to microcirculatory perfusion and endothelial integrity during ECMO. The expression of hsa_circ_0007367 plays a pivotal role in this protective mechanism.


Subject(s)
Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/genetics , Endothelial Cells/physiology , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Heart Arrest/therapy , Animals , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Dogs , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Heart Arrest/genetics , Heart Arrest/pathology , Heart Arrest/physiopathology , Inflammation , Lung/blood supply , Lung/pathology , Microcirculation , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III/metabolism , Occludin/genetics , Occludin/metabolism , Pulsatile Flow , Rats , Zonula Occludens-1 Protein/genetics , Zonula Occludens-1 Protein/metabolism
3.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0167121, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691404

ABSTRACT

The vascular endothelial injury occurs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We sought to determine the frequency and type of cytokine elevations and their relationship to endothelial injury induced by plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 versus controls. Plasma from eight consecutively enrolled patients hospitalized with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was compared to controls. Endothelial cell (EC) barrier integrity was evaluated using ECIS (electric cell-substrate impedance sensing) on human lung microvascular EC. Plasma from all SARS-CoV-2 but none from controls decreased transendothelial resistance to a greater degree than that produced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), the positive control for the assay. Thrombin, angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), complement factor C3a and C5a, and spike protein increased endothelial permeability, but to a lesser extent and a shorter duration when compared to SARS-CoV-2 plasma. Analysis of Ang2, VEGF, and 15 cytokines measured in plasma revealed striking patient-to-patient variability within the SARS-CoV-2 patients. Pretreatment with thrombin inhibitors, single, or combinations of neutralizing antibodies against cytokines, Ca3 and C5a receptor antagonists, or with ACE2 antibody failed to lessen the SARS-CoV-2 plasma-induced EC permeability. The EC barrier destructive effects of plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 were susceptible to heat inactivation. Plasma from patients hospitalized with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection uniformly disrupts lung microvascular integrity. No predicted single, or set of, cytokine(s) accounted for the enhanced vascular permeability, although the factor(s) were heat-labile. A still unidentified but potent circulating factor(s) appears to cause the EC disruption in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. IMPORTANCE Lung vascular endothelial injury in SARS-CoV-2 patients is one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality and has been linked to more severe complications including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and subsequent death due to multiorgan failure. We have demonstrated that in eight consecutive patients with SARS-CoV-2, who were not selected for evidence of endothelial injury, the diluted plasma-induced intense lung microvascular damage, in vitro. Known endothelial barrier-disruptive agents and proposed mediators of increased endothelial permeability in SARS-CoV-2, induced changes in permeability that were smaller in magnitude and shorter in duration than plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2. The effect on endothelial cell permeability of plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 was heat-labile. The main plasma factor that causes the increased endothelial permeability remains to be identified. Our study provides a possible approach for future studies to understand the underlying mechanisms leading to vascular injury in SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Capillary Permeability , Cytokines/blood , Lung/blood supply , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Young Adult
4.
Respir Res ; 23(1): 25, 2022 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hyperinflammation is a key event with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that often accompanies COVID-19 appears to have worse outcomes than ARDS from other causes. To date, numerous lung histological studies in cases of COVID-19 have shown extensive inflammation and injury, but the extent to which these are a COVID-19 specific, or are an ARDS and/or mechanical ventilation (MV) related phenomenon is not clear. Furthermore, while lung hyperinflammation with ARDS (COVID-19 or from other causes) has been well studied, there is scarce documentation of vascular inflammation in COVID-19 lungs. METHODS: Lung sections from 8 COVID-19 affected and 11 non-COVID-19 subjects, of which 8 were acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) affected (non-COVID-19 ARDS) and 3 were from subjects with non-respiratory diseases (non-COVID-19 non-ARDS) were H&E stained to ascertain histopathological features. Inflammation along the vessel wall was also monitored by expression of NLRP3 and caspase 1. RESULTS: In lungs from COVID-19 affected subjects, vascular changes in the form of microthrombi in small vessels, arterial thrombosis, and organization were extensive as compared to lungs from non-COVID-19 (i.e., non-COVID-19 ARDS and non-COVID-19 non-ARDS) affected subjects. The expression of NLRP3 pathway components was higher in lungs from COVID-19 ARDS subjects as compared to non-COVID-19 non-ARDS cases. No differences were observed between COVID-19 ARDS and non-COVID-19 ARDS lungs. CONCLUSION: Vascular changes as well as NLRP3 inflammasome pathway activation were not different between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS suggesting that these responses are not a COVID-19 specific phenomenon and are possibly more related to respiratory distress and associated strategies (such as MV) for treatment.


Subject(s)
Blood Vessels/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Inflammasomes/analysis , Lung/blood supply , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/analysis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , Blood Vessels/pathology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
5.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650643

ABSTRACT

The increased plasma levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) in patients with COVID-19 was reported in many studies, and its correlation with disease severity and mortality suggest its important role in the pathogenesis of thrombosis in COVID-19. We performed histological and immunohistochemical studies of the lungs of 29 patients who died from COVID-19. We found a significant increase in the intensity of immunohistochemical reaction for VWF in the pulmonary vascular endothelium when the disease duration was more than 10 days. In the patients who had thrombotic complications, the VWF immunostaining in the pulmonary vascular endothelium was significantly more intense than in nonsurvivors without thrombotic complications. Duration of disease and thrombotic complications were found to be independent predictors of increased VWF immunostaining in the endothelium of pulmonary vessels. We also revealed that bacterial pneumonia was associated with increased VWF staining intensity in pulmonary arterial, arteriolar, and venular endothelium, while lung ventilation was an independent predictor of increased VWF immunostaining in arterial endothelium. The results of the study demonstrated an important role of endothelial VWF in the pathogenesis of thrombus formation in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Lung/blood supply , Venous Thrombosis/etiology , Venous Thrombosis/pathology , von Willebrand Factor/analysis , Adult , Autopsy , COVID-19/blood , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunohistochemistry/methods , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Pulmonary Embolism , Severity of Illness Index , Venous Thrombosis/classification
6.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0073521, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596765

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause compromised respiratory function and thrombotic events. SARS-CoV-2 binds to and mediates downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on cells that it infects. Theoretically, diminished enzymatic activity of ACE2 may result in increased concentrations of pro-inflammatory molecules, angiotensin II, and Bradykinin, contributing to SARS-CoV-2 pathology. Using immunofluorescence microscopy of lung tissues from uninfected, and SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, we find evidence that ACE2 is highly expressed in human pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells and significantly reduced along the alveolar lining of SARS-CoV-2 infected lungs. Ex vivo analyses of primary human cells, indicated that ACE2 is readily detected in pulmonary alveolar epithelial and aortic endothelial cells. Exposure of these cells to spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was sufficient to reduce ACE2 expression. Moreover, exposure of endothelial cells to spike protein-induced dysfunction, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Exposure of endothelial cells to bradykinin caused calcium signaling and endothelial dysfunction (increased expression of von Willibrand Factor and decreased expression of Krüppel-like Factor 2) but did not adversely affect viability in primary human aortic endothelial cells. Computer-assisted analyses of molecules with potential to bind bradykinin receptor B2 (BKRB2), suggested a potential role for aspirin as a BK antagonist. When tested in our in vitro model, we found evidence that aspirin can blunt cell signaling and endothelial dysfunction caused by bradykinin in these cells. Interference with interactions of spike protein or bradykinin with endothelial cells may serve as an important strategy to stabilize microvascular homeostasis in COVID-19 disease. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 causes complex effects on microvascular homeostasis that potentially contribute to organ dysfunction and coagulopathies. SARS-CoV-2 binds to, and causes downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on cells that it infects. It is thought that reduced ACE2 enzymatic activity can contribute to inflammation and pathology in the lung. Our studies add to this understanding by providing evidence that spike protein alone can mediate adverse effects on vascular cells. Understanding these mechanisms of pathogenesis may provide rationale for interventions that could limit microvascular events associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Aorta/cytology , Aorta/metabolism , Aorta/virology , Apoptosis , Bradykinin/chemistry , Bradykinin/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Homeostasis , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Microcirculation , Receptors, Bradykinin/chemistry , Receptors, Bradykinin/genetics , Receptors, Bradykinin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
Platelets ; 33(1): 48-53, 2022 Jan 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541393

ABSTRACT

Coagulopathy is an evident complication of COVID-19 with predominance of a prothrombotic state. Platelet activation plays a key role. The terms "hyper-reactivity" and "hyperactivity" used in recent literature may not be clear or sufficient to explain the pathological events involved in COVID-related thrombosis (CRT). Inflammation may play a bigger role compared to thrombosis in COVID-related mortality because a smaller percentage of patients with COVID-19 die due to direct effects of thrombosis. Not all COVID-19 patients have thrombocytopenia and a few show thrombocytosis. We believe the platelet pathology is more complex than just activation or hyper-activation, particularly due to the platelets' role in inflammation. Understanding the pathology and consequences of platelets' role may help optimize management strategies and diminish CRT-associated morbidity and mortality. In this viewpoint report, we examine the published evidence of platelet hyper-reactivity in COVID-19 with a focused analysis of the key pathologies, diverse alterations, disease outcomes, and therapeutic targets. We believe that COVID-19 is a disease of inflammation and pathologic platelets, and based on the complexity and diverse pathologies, we propose the term "thrombocytopathy" as a more reflective term of the platelets' involvement in COVID-19. In our opinion, thrombocytopathy is the unpredictable pathologic alterations of platelets in function, morphology and number, caused by different factors with a variety of presentations.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/complications , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/complications , Pulmonary Embolism/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Abciximab/therapeutic use , Acute Disease , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Aspirin/therapeutic use , Blood Platelets/drug effects , Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Clopidogrel/therapeutic use , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/diagnosis , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/virology , Fibrinolytic Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Platelet Activation/drug effects , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnosis , Pulmonary Embolism/drug therapy , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Treatment Outcome
8.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0257892, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526682

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory viral illness causing pneumonia and systemic disease. Abnormalities in pulmonary function tests (PFT) after COVID-19 infection have been described. The determinants of these abnormalities are unclear. We hypothesized that inflammatory biomarkers and CT scan parameters at the time of infection would be associated with abnormal gas transfer at short term follow-up. METHODS: We retrospectively studied subjects who were hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia and discharged. Serum inflammatory biomarkers, CT scan and clinical characteristics were assessed. CT images were evaluated by Functional Respiratory Imaging with automated tissue segmentation algorithms of the lungs and pulmonary vasculature. Volumes of the pulmonary vessels that were ≤5mm (BV5), 5-10mm (BV5_10), and ≥10mm (BV10) in cross sectional area were analyzed. Also the amount of opacification on CT (ground glass opacities). PFT were performed 2-3 months after discharge. The diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (DLCO) was obtained. We divided subjects into those with a DLCO <80% predicted (Low DLCO) and those with a DLCO ≥80% predicted (Normal DLCO). RESULTS: 38 subjects were included in our cohort. 31 out of 38 (81.6%) subjects had a DLCO<80% predicted. The groups were similar in terms of demographics, body mass index, comorbidities, and smoking status. Hemoglobin, inflammatory biomarkers, spirometry and lung volumes were similar between groups. CT opacification and BV5 were not different between groups, but both Low and Normal DLCO groups had lower BV5 measures compared to healthy controls. BV5_10 and BV10 measures were higher in the Low DLCO group compared to the normal DLCO group. Both BV5_10 and BV10 in the Low DLCO group were greater compared to healthy controls. BV5_10 was independently associated with DLCO<80% in multivariable logistic regression (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.01, 1.64). BV10 negatively correlated with DLCO% predicted (r = -0.343, p = 0.035). CONCLUSIONS: Abnormalities in pulmonary vascular volumes at the time of hospitalization are independently associated with a low DLCO at follow-up. There was no relationship between inflammatory biomarkers during hospitalization and DLCO. Pulmonary vascular abnormalities during hospitalization for COVID-19 may serve as a biomarker for abnormal gas transfer after COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Lung/blood supply , Lung/diagnostic imaging , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
11.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(1): 399-407, 2021 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388014

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor baricitinib may block viral entry into pneumocytes and prevent cytokine storm in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. We aimed to assess whether baricitinib improved pulmonary function in patients treated with high-dose corticosteroids for moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. METHODS: This observational study enrolled patients with moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia [arterial oxygen partial pressure (PaO2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) <200 mmHg] who received lopinavir/ritonavir and HCQ plus either corticosteroids (CS group, n = 50) or corticosteroids and baricitinib (BCT-CS group, n = 62). The primary end point was the change in oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry (SpO2)/FiO2 from hospitalization to discharge. Secondary end points included the proportion of patients requiring supplemental oxygen at discharge and 1 month later. Statistics were adjusted by the inverse propensity score weighting (IPSW). RESULTS: A greater improvement in SpO2/FiO2 from hospitalization to discharge was observed in the BCT-CS vs CS group (mean differences adjusted for IPSW, 49; 95% CI: 22, 77; P < 0.001). A higher proportion of patients required supplemental oxygen both at discharge (62.0% vs 25.8%; reduction of the risk by 82%, OR adjusted for IPSW, 0.18; 95% CI: 0.08, 0.43; P < 0.001) and 1 month later (28.0% vs 12.9%, reduction of the risk by 69%, OR adjusted for IPSW, 0.31; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.86; P = 0.024) in the CS vs BCT-CS group. CONCLUSIONS: . In patients with moderate to severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia a combination of baricitinib with corticosteroids was associated with greater improvement in pulmonary function when compared with corticosteroids alone. TRIAL REGISTRATION: European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance, ENCEPP (EUPAS34966, http://www.encepp.eu/encepp/viewResource.htm? id = 34967).


Subject(s)
Azetidines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Hypoxia/therapy , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Methylprednisolone/therapeutic use , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Purines/therapeutic use , Pyrazoles/therapeutic use , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cohort Studies , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Endothelium, Vascular , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Lung/blood supply , Male , Middle Aged , Oximetry , Prospective Studies , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(10): 1135-1140, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377877

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is characterised by respiratory symptoms, which deteriorate into respiratory failure in a substantial proportion of cases, requiring intensive care in up to a third of patients admitted to hospital. Analysis of the pathological features in the lung tissues of patients who have died with COVID-19 could help us to understand the disease pathogenesis and clinical outcomes. METHODS: We systematically analysed lung tissue samples from 38 patients who died from COVID-19 in two hospitals in northern Italy between Feb 29 and March 24, 2020. The most representative areas identified at macroscopic examination were selected, and tissue blocks (median seven, range five to nine) were taken from each lung and fixed in 10% buffered formalin for at least 48 h. Tissues were assessed with use of haematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemical staining for inflammatory infiltrate and cellular components (including staining with antibodies against CD68, CD3, CD45, CD61, TTF1, p40, and Ki-67), and electron microscopy to identify virion localisation. FINDINGS: All cases showed features of the exudative and proliferative phases of diffuse alveolar damage, which included capillary congestion (in all cases), necrosis of pneumocytes (in all cases), hyaline membranes (in 33 cases), interstitial and intra-alveolar oedema (in 37 cases), type 2 pneumocyte hyperplasia (in all cases), squamous metaplasia with atypia (in 21 cases), and platelet-fibrin thrombi (in 33 cases). The inflammatory infiltrate, observed in all cases, was largely composed of macrophages in the alveolar lumina (in 24 cases) and lymphocytes in the interstitium (in 31 cases). Electron microscopy revealed that viral particles were predominantly located in the pneumocytes. INTERPRETATION: The predominant pattern of lung lesions in patients with COVID-19 patients is diffuse alveolar damage, as described in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses. Hyaline membrane formation and pneumocyte atypical hyperplasia are frequent. Importantly, the presence of platelet-fibrin thrombi in small arterial vessels is consistent with coagulopathy, which appears to be common in patients with COVID-19 and should be one of the main targets of therapy. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Hyaline Membrane Disease , Inflammation , Italy/epidemiology , Lung/blood supply , Lung/ultrastructure , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophil Infiltration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pulmonary Alveoli/blood supply , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/ultrastructure , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , Pulmonary Artery/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis
13.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5390-5395, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363677

ABSTRACT

Hypercoagulability and thrombosis caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are related to the higher mortality rate. Because of limited data on the antiplatelet effect, we aimed to evaluate the impact of aspirin add-on therapy on the outcome of the patients hospitalized due to severe COVID-19. In this cohort study, patients with a confirmed diagnosis of severe COVID-19 admitted to Imam Hossein Medical Center, Tehran, Iran from March 2019 to July 2020 were included. Demographics and related clinical data during their hospitalization were recorded. The mortality rate of the patients was considered as the primary outcome and its association with aspirin use was assessed. Nine hundred and ninety-one patients were included, of that 336 patients (34%) received aspirin during their hospitalization and 655 ones (66%) did not. Comorbidities were more prevalent in the patients who were receiving aspirin. Results from the multivariate COX proportional model demonstrated a significant independent association between aspirin use and reduction in the risk of in-hospital mortality (0.746 [0.560-0.994], p = 0.046). Aspirin use in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is associated with a significant decrease in mortality rate. Further prospective randomized controlled trials are needed to assess the efficacy and adverse effects of aspirin administration in this population.


Subject(s)
Aspirin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/drug therapy , Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Pulmonary Embolism/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Blood Platelets/drug effects , Blood Platelets/pathology , Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Coronary Artery Disease/complications , Coronary Artery Disease/drug therapy , Coronary Artery Disease/mortality , Coronary Artery Disease/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/drug therapy , Diabetes Mellitus/mortality , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/complications , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/mortality , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/virology , Drug Combinations , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/mortality , Hypertension/virology , Iran , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Lung/blood supply , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Embolism/complications , Pulmonary Embolism/mortality , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Respiration, Artificial/mortality , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis , Treatment Outcome
14.
Int J Lab Hematol ; 43 Suppl 1: 29-35, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319315

ABSTRACT

Vascular endothelial injury is a hallmark of acute infection at both the microvascular and macrovascular levels. The hallmark of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the current COVID-19 clinical sequelae of the pathophysiologic responses of hypercoagulability and thromboinflammation associated with acute infection. The acute lung injury that initially occurs in COVID-19 results from vascular and endothelial damage from viral injury and pathophysiologic responses that produce the COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Clinicians should continue to focus on the vascular endothelial injury that occurs and evaluate potential therapeutic interventions that may benefit those with new infections during the current pandemic as they may also be of benefit for future pathogens that generate similar thromboinflammatory responses. The current Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) studies are important projects that will further define our management strategies. At the time of writing this report, two mRNA vaccines are now being distributed and will hopefully have a major impact on slowing the global spread and subsequent thromboinflammatory injury we see clinically in critically ill patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombophilia/etiology , Vasculitis/etiology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/etiology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Female , Fibrinolysis , Forecasting , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , Thromboembolism/etiology , Thromboembolism/prevention & control
15.
Molecules ; 25(19)2020 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302391

ABSTRACT

There is a vast practice of using antimalarial drugs, RAS inhibitors, serine protease inhibitors, inhibitors of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the virus and immunosuppressants for the treatment of the severe form of COVID-19, which often occurs in patients with chronic diseases and older persons. Currently, the clinical efficacy of these drugs for COVID-19 has not been proven yet. Side effects of antimalarial drugs can worsen the condition of patients and increase the likelihood of death. Peptides, given their physiological mechanism of action, have virtually no side effects. Many of them are geroprotectors and can be used in patients with chronic diseases. Peptides may be able to prevent the development of the pathological process during COVID-19 by inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins, thereby having immuno- and bronchoprotective effects on lung cells, and normalizing the state of the hemostasis system. Immunomodulators (RKDVY, EW, KE, AEDG), possessing a physiological mechanism of action at low concentrations, appear to be the most promising group among the peptides. They normalize the cytokines' synthesis and have an anti-inflammatory effect, thereby preventing the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Peptides/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Respiratory System Agents/therapeutic use , Acute Disease , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/growth & development , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/complications , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/diagnosis , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Immunologic Factors/chemical synthesis , Lung/blood supply , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Peptides/chemical synthesis , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/complications , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/prevention & control , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Respiratory System Agents/chemical synthesis , SARS-CoV-2 , Structure-Activity Relationship
16.
Shock ; 57(1): 1-6, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281907

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The pathomechanisms of hypoxemia and treatment strategies for type H and type L acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-induced coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have not been elucidated. MAIN TEXT: SARS-CoV-2 mainly targets the lungs and blood, leading to ARDS, and systemic thrombosis or bleeding. Angiotensin II-induced coagulopathy, SARS-CoV-2-induced hyperfibrin(ogen)olysis, and pulmonary and/or disseminated intravascular coagulation due to immunothrombosis contribute to COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Type H ARDS is associated with hypoxemia due to diffuse alveolar damage-induced high right-to-left shunts. Immunothrombosis occurs at the site of infection due to innate immune inflammatory and coagulofibrinolytic responses to SARS-CoV-2, resulting in microvascular occlusion with hypoperfusion of the lungs. Lung immunothrombosis in type L ARDS results from neutrophil extracellular traps containing platelets and fibrin in the lung microvasculature, leading to hypoxemia due to impaired blood flow and a high ventilation/perfusion (VA/Q) ratio. COVID-19-associated ARDS is more vascular centric than the other types of ARDS. D-dimer levels have been monitored for the progression of microvascular thrombosis in COVID-19 patients. Early anticoagulation therapy in critical patients with high D-dimer levels may improve prognosis, including the prevention and/or alleviation of ARDS. CONCLUSIONS: Right-to-left shunts and high VA/Q ratios caused by lung microvascular thrombosis contribute to hypoxemia in type H and L ARDS, respectively. D-dimer monitoring-based anticoagulation therapy may prevent the progression to and/or worsening of ARDS in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Hemostasis/physiology , Hypoxia/physiopathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/physiopathology , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Fibrin/metabolism , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Fibrinolysis , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Microvessels/physiopathology , Phenotype , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/drug therapy
18.
J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv ; 34(4): 262-264, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276115

ABSTRACT

Despite the various parenchymal presentation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia, the involvement of the vascular component, the reduction of perfusion in noninjured part of the lung and secondary right to left shunt play an important role in the genesis of the respiratory insufficiency. We present the case of a 72-year-old woman admitted to Livorno Hospital for severe respiratory insufficiency due to SARS-CoV-2 infection unresponsive to noninvasive in whom administration of nebulized phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitor enoximone was able to improve oxygenation avoiding tracheal intubation. Intravenous infusions of phosphodiesterase inhibitors are commonly used as pulmonary vasodilators in the management of pulmonary hypertension. This is the first case showing that inhaled route administration of PDE3 inhibitor enoximone could be important in the management of COVID-19 hypoxemia, to restore perfusion in noninjured part of the lung, improving oxygenation and avoiding risks of systemic infusion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Enoximone/administration & dosage , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Lung/blood supply , Phosphodiesterase 3 Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Pulmonary Circulation/drug effects , Administration, Inhalation , Aerosols , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Hypoxia/physiopathology , Hypoxia/virology , Nebulizers and Vaporizers , Treatment Outcome
19.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252478, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273276

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gas exchange in COVID-19 pneumonia is impaired and vessel obstruction has been suspected to cause ventilation-perfusion mismatch. Dual-energy CT (DECT) can depict pulmonary perfusion by regional assessment of iodine uptake. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was the analysis of pulmonary perfusion using dual-energy CT in a cohort of 27 consecutive patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. METHOD: We retrospectively analyzed pulmonary perfusion with DECT in 27 consecutive patients (mean age 57 years, range 21-73; 19 men and 8 women) with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Iodine uptake (IU) in regions-of-interest placed into normally aerated lung, ground-glass opacifications (GGO) and consolidations was measured using a dedicated postprocessing software. Vessel enlargement (VE) within opacifications and presence of pulmonary embolism (PE) was assessed by subjective analysis. Linear mixed models were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS: Compared to normally aerated lung 106/151 (70.2%) opacifications without upstream PE demonstrated an increased IU, 9/151 (6.0%) an equal IU and 36/151 (23.8%) a decreased IU. The estimated mean iodine uptake (EMIU) in opacifications without upstream PE (GGO 1.77 mg/mL; 95%-CI: 1.52-2.02; p = 0.011, consolidations 1.82 mg/mL; 95%-CI: 1.56-2.08, p = 0.006) was significantly higher compared to normal lung (1.22 mg/mL; 95%-CI: 0.95-1.49). In case of upstream PE, EMIU of opacifications (combined GGO and consolidations) was significantly decreased compared to normal lung (0.52 mg/mL; 95%-CI: -0.07-1.12; p = 0.043). The presence of VE in opacifications correlated significantly with iodine uptake (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: DECT revealed the opacifications in a subset of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia to be perfused non-uniformly with some being hypo- and others being hyperperfused. Mean iodine uptake in opacifications (both ground-glass and consolidation) was higher compared to normally aerated lung except for areas with upstream pulmonary embolism. Vessel enlargement correlated with iodine uptake: In summary, in a cohort of 27 consecutive patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, dual-energy CT demonstrated a wide range of iodine uptake in pulmonary ground-glass opacifications and consolidations as a surrogate marker for hypo- and hyperperfusion compared to normally aerated lung. Applying DECT to determine which pathophysiology is predominant might help to tailor therapy to the individual patient´s needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Lung , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Adult , Aged , Contrast Media/chemistry , Female , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
20.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 186, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255959

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), extravascular lung water index (EVLWi) and pulmonary vascular permeability index (PVPI) measured by transpulmonary thermodilution reflect the degree of lung injury. Whether EVLWi and PVPI are different between non-COVID-19 ARDS and the ARDS due to COVID-19 has never been reported. We aimed at comparing EVLWi, PVPI, respiratory mechanics and hemodynamics in patients with COVID-19 ARDS vs. ARDS of other origin. METHODS: Between March and October 2020, in an observational study conducted in intensive care units from three university hospitals, 60 patients with COVID-19-related ARDS monitored by transpulmonary thermodilution were compared to the 60 consecutive non-COVID-19 ARDS admitted immediately before the COVID-19 outbreak between December 2018 and February 2020. RESULTS: Driving pressure was similar between patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS, at baseline as well as during the study period. Compared to patients without COVID-19, those with COVID-19 exhibited higher EVLWi, both at the baseline (17 (14-21) vs. 15 (11-19) mL/kg, respectively, p = 0.03) and at the time of its maximal value (24 (18-27) vs. 21 (15-24) mL/kg, respectively, p = 0.01). Similar results were observed for PVPI. In COVID-19 patients, the worst ratio between arterial oxygen partial pressure over oxygen inspired fraction was lower (81 (70-109) vs. 100 (80-124) mmHg, respectively, p = 0.02) and prone positioning and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) were more frequently used than in patients without COVID-19. COVID-19 patients had lower maximal lactate level and maximal norepinephrine dose than patients without COVID-19. Day-60 mortality was similar between groups (57% vs. 65%, respectively, p = 0.45). The maximal value of EVLWi and PVPI remained independently associated with outcome in the whole cohort. CONCLUSION: Compared to ARDS patients without COVID-19, patients with COVID-19 had similar lung mechanics, but higher EVLWi and PVPI values from the beginning of the disease. This was associated with worse oxygenation and with more requirement of prone positioning and ECMO. This is compatible with the specific lung inflammation and severe diffuse alveolar damage related to COVID-19. By contrast, patients with COVID-19 had fewer hemodynamic derangement. Eventually, mortality was similar between groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER AND DATE OF REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04337983). Registered 30 March 2020-Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04337983 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Capillary Permeability , Extravascular Lung Water/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , COVID-19/complications , Hemodynamics , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Prognosis , Pulmonary Edema/metabolism , Thermodilution
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