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1.
Elife ; 102021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597375

ABSTRACT

For the first time, we have used phase-contrast X-ray tomography to characterize the three-dimensional (3d) structure of cardiac tissue from patients who succumbed to Covid-19. By extending conventional histopathological examination by a third dimension, the delicate pathological changes of the vascular system of severe Covid-19 progressions can be analyzed, fully quantified and compared to other types of viral myocarditis and controls. To this end, cardiac samples with a cross-section of 3.5mm were scanned at a laboratory setup as well as at a parallel beam setup at a synchrotron radiation facility the synchrotron in a parallel beam configuration. The vascular network was segmented by a deep learning architecture suitable for 3d datasets (V-net), trained by sparse manual annotations. Pathological alterations of vessels, concerning the variation of diameters and the amount of small holes, were observed, indicative of elevated occurrence of intussusceptive angiogenesis, also confirmed by high-resolution cone beam X-ray tomography and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, we implemented a fully automated analysis of the tissue structure in the form of shape measures based on the structure tensor. The corresponding distributions show that the histopathology of Covid-19 differs from both influenza and typical coxsackie virus myocarditis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Myocardium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/pathology , Heart/diagnostic imaging , Heart/virology , Humans , Imaging, Three-Dimensional , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocarditis/etiology , Synchrotrons , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 779026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581330

ABSTRACT

A 26-year-old otherwise healthy man died of fulminant myocarditis. Nasopharyngeal specimens collected premortem tested negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Histopathological evaluation of the heart showed myocardial necrosis surrounded by cytotoxic T-cells and tissue-repair macrophages. Myocardial T-cell receptor (TCR) sequencing revealed hyper-dominant clones with highly similar sequences to TCRs that are specific for SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in the gut, supporting a diagnosis of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A). Molecular targets of MIS-associated inflammation are not known. Our data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 antigens selected high-frequency T-cell clones that mediated fatal myocarditis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Male , Myocarditis/immunology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology
3.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572665

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has mobilized many efforts worldwide to curb its impact on morbidity and mortality. Vaccination of the general population has resulted in the administration of more than 6,700,000,000 doses by the end of October 2021, which is the most effective method to prevent hospitalization and death. Among the adverse effects described, myocarditis and pericarditis are low-frequency events (less than 10 per 100,000 people), mainly observed with messenger RNA vaccines. The mechanisms responsible for these effects have not been specified, considering an exacerbated and uncontrolled immune response and an autoimmune response against specific cardiomyocyte proteins. This greater immunogenicity and reactogenicity is clinically manifested in a differential manner in pediatric patients, adults, and the elderly, determining specific characteristics of its presentation for each age group. It generally develops as a condition of mild to moderate severity, whose symptoms and imaging findings are self-limited, resolving favorably in days to weeks and, exceptionally, reporting deaths associated with this complication. The short- and medium-term prognosis is favorable, highlighting the lack of data on long-term evolution, which should be determined in longer follow-ups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cardiomyopathies/etiology , Adolescent , Aged , Cardiomyopathies/epidemiology , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Male , Myocarditis/epidemiology , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/pathology , Pericarditis/epidemiology , Pericarditis/etiology , Pericarditis/pathology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(40): e286, 2021 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477789

ABSTRACT

We present autopsy findings of a 22-year-old man who developed chest pain 5 days after the first dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine and died 7 hours later. Histological examination of the heart revealed isolated atrial myocarditis, with neutrophil and histiocyte predominance. Immunohistochemical C4d staining revealed scattered single-cell necrosis of myocytes which was not accompanied by inflammatory infiltrates. Extensive contraction band necrosis was observed in the atria and ventricles. There was no evidence of microthrombosis or infection in the heart and other organs. The primary cause of death was determined to be myocarditis, causally-associated with the BNT162b2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Death, Sudden/etiology , Myocarditis/complications , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , Autopsy , Death, Sudden/pathology , Humans , Male , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology
6.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(32): e232, 2021 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Korean health authority plans to vaccinate adolescents against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) starting high school seniors during the summer vacation of 2021. However, the myocarditis/pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccine has been reported recently in adolescents and young adults. This study was performed to answer the urgent questions about the basic epidemiology and clinical course of myocarditis/pericarditis in hospitalized patients prior to the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in pediatric population. METHODS: A retrospective medical record analysis including frequency, clinical characteristics, etiology and outcome of myocarditis/pericarditis was conducted in 17 years and younger patients who were hospitalized in two referral hospitals in Korea between 2010 and 2019. RESULTS: Total 142 patients with myocarditis (n = 119) and/or pericarditis (n = 23) were identified. Median age was 5.4 years (interquartile range, 0.6-12.9 years; range, 11 days-17.8 years), and male was 61%. In adolescents aged 12-17 years, the male to female ratio was 3.2. Myocarditis/pericarditis occurred 0.70 per 1,000 in-patients during the study period: 0.96 (< 1 year), 0.50 (1-5 years), 0.67 (6-11 years) and 1.22 (12-17 years) per 1,000 in-patients, respectively. There was an increasing tendency for the annual frequency from 0.34 in 2010 to 1.25 per 1,000 in-patients in 2019 (P = 0.021). Among the 56 (40%) proven pathogens at admission, Mycoplasma pneumoniae (n = 11, 8%) and enterovirus (n = 10, 7%) were most common. Of the 142 patients, 99 (70%) required pediatric intensive care unit care and 10 (7%) received heart transplantation. In addition, 61 patients (61/131, 47%) without heart medication at admission needed heart medication when they were discharged. Eleven (7.7%) patients died, of which five patients were previously healthy. The median age of deceased patients was lower than the survival group (0.8 vs. 6.3 years, P = 0.014). CONCLUSION: The frequency of myocarditis/pericarditis was highest among male adolescent in-patients; however, the outcome was favorable in this group without any mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Myocarditis/epidemiology , Myocarditis/pathology , Pericarditis/epidemiology , Pericarditis/pathology , Adolescent , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Vaccination/adverse effects
7.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(32): e229, 2021 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360704

ABSTRACT

Increasing rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination coverage will result in more vaccine-related side effects, including acute myocarditis. In Korea, we present a 24-year-old male with acute myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination (BNT162b2). His chest pain developed the day after vaccination and cardiac biomarkers were elevated. Echocardiography showed minimal pericardial effusion but normal myocardial contractility. Electrocardiography revealed diffuse ST elevation in lead II, and V2-5. Cardiac magnetic resonance images showed the high signal intensity of T2- short tau inversion recovery image, the high value of T2 mapping sequence, and late gadolinium enhancement in basal inferior and inferolateral wall. It was presumed that COVID-19 mRNA vaccination was probably responsible for acute myocarditis. Clinical course of the patient was favorable and he was discharged without any adverse event.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Heart/diagnostic imaging , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chest Pain/pathology , Echocardiography , Electrocardiography , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Republic of Korea , Vaccination/adverse effects , Young Adult
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 624703, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354863

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence suggests that the breakdown of immune tolerance plays an important role in the development of myocarditis triggered by cardiotropic microbial infections. Genetic deletion of immune checkpoint molecules that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance causes spontaneous myocarditis in mice, and cancer treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors can induce myocarditis in humans. These results suggest that the loss of immune tolerance results in myocarditis. The tissue microenvironment influences the local immune dysregulation in autoimmunity. Recently, tenascin-C (TN-C) has been found to play a role as a local regulator of inflammation through various molecular mechanisms. TN-C is a nonstructural extracellular matrix glycoprotein expressed in the heart during early embryonic development, as well as during tissue injury or active tissue remodeling, in a spatiotemporally restricted manner. In a mouse model of autoimmune myocarditis, TN-C was detectable before inflammatory cell infiltration and myocytolysis became histologically evident; it was strongly expressed during active inflammation and disappeared with healing. TN-C activates dendritic cells to generate pathogenic autoreactive T cells and forms an important link between innate and acquired immunity.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/metabolism , Autoimmunity , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocardium/metabolism , Tenascin/metabolism , Animals , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/pathology , Cardiomyopathies/immunology , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Cellular Microenvironment , Humans , Myocarditis/immunology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/immunology , Myocardium/pathology , Self Tolerance , Signal Transduction
9.
J Intern Med ; 290(3): 655-665, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297793

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Assessment of the causative association between the COVID-19 and cause of death has been hampered by limited availability of systematically performed autopsies. We aimed to present autopsy-confirmed causes of death in patients who died with COVID-19 and to assess the association between thrombosis and diffuse alveolar damage consistent with COVID-19 (DAD). METHODS: Consecutive forensic (n = 60) and clinical (n = 42) autopsies with positive post-mortem SARS-CoV-2 PCR in lungs (age 73 ± 14 years, 50% men) were included. The cause of death analysis was based on a review of medical records and histological reports. Thrombotic phenomena in lungs were defined as pulmonary thromboembolism (PE), thrombosis in pulmonary artery branches or microangiopathy in capillary vessels. RESULTS: COVID-19 caused or contributed to death in 71% of clinical and 83% of forensic autopsies, in whom significant DAD was observed. Of the patients with COVID-19 as the primary cause of death, only 19% had no thrombotic phenomena in the lungs, as opposed to 38% amongst those with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death and 54% amongst patients whose death was not related to COVID-19 (p = 0.002). PE was observed in 5 patients. Two patients fulfilled the criteria for lymphocyte myocarditis. CONCLUSIONS: Vast majority of all PCR-positive fatalities, including out-of-hospital deaths, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were related to DAD caused by COVID-19. Pulmonary artery thrombosis and microangiopathy in pulmonary tissue were common and associated with the presence of DAD, whilst venous PE was rarely observed. Histology-confirmed lymphocyte myocarditis was a rare finding.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Cause of Death , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Thromboembolism/pathology , Aged , Autopsy , Capillaries/pathology , Female , Humans , Lymphocytes , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/pathology , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pulmonary Artery/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombotic Microangiopathies/pathology
10.
Cardiovasc Pathol ; 54: 107361, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281392

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has a significant effect upon the cardiovascular system. While a number of different cardiovascular histopathologies have been described at post-mortem examination, the incidence of typical viral myocarditis in COVID-19 positive patients appears very low [1-3]. In this study, we further characterize and quantify the inflammatory cell infiltrate in a COVID-19 study cohort and compare the findings to both an age and disease matched control cohort and a cohort of patients diagnosed with typical inflammatory myocarditis. All study and control cohorts had 1 or more of the comorbidities most commonly associated with severe disease (hypertension, type II diabetes, obesity, or known cardiovascular disease). The results demonstrate a skewed distribution of the number of CD68+ cells in COVID-19 hearts, with upper quantiles showing a significant increase as compared to both matched control hearts, and those with myocarditis. In contrast, hearts from typical inflammatory myocarditis contained increased numbers of CD4+, and CD8+ cells compared to both COVID-19 and control cohorts. In conclusion, the presence of an increased number of CD68+ cells suggests that COVID-19 may incite a form of myocarditis different from typical viral myocarditis, and associated with diffusely infiltrative cells of monocytes/macrophage lineage.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/analysis , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Myocarditis/immunology , Myocardium/immunology , Adult , Aged , Autopsy , Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Macrophages/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/mortality , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Myocardium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
11.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253625, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280637

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine clinical, laboratory features and outcomes of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children (MIS-C) and its comparison with historic Kawasaki Disease (KD) and Viral Myocarditis (VM) cohorts. METHODS: All children (1 month- 18 years) who fulfilled the World Health Organization criteria of MIS-C presenting to two tertiary care centers in Karachi from May 2020 till August 31st were included. KD and VM admitted to one of the study centers in the last five years prior to this pandemic, was compared to MIS-C. RESULTS: Thirty children with median age of 24 (interquartile range (IQR)1-192) months met the criteria for MIS-C. Three phenotypes were identified, 12 patients (40%) with KD, ten (33%) VM and eight (26%) had features of TSS. Echocardiography showed coronary involvement in 10 (33%), and moderate to severe Left Ventricular dysfunction in 10 (33%) patients. Steroids and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) were administered to 24 (80%) and 12 (41%) patients respectively while 7 (23%) received both. Overall, 20% children expired. During the last five years, 30 and 47 children were diagnosed with KD and VM, respectively. Their comparison with MIS-C group showed lymphopenia, thrombocytosis, and higher CRP as well as more frequent atypical presentation in MIS-C KD group with less coronary involvement. The MIS-C VM was more likely to present with fulminant myocarditis. CONCLUSIONS: Our MIS-C cohort is younger with higher mortality compared to previous reports. MIS-C is distinct from historic cohorts of KD and VM in both in clinical features and outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/pathology , Myocarditis/pathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pakistan/epidemiology , Phenotype , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/epidemiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/therapy , Treatment Outcome
12.
JAMA Neurol ; 78(8): 948-960, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265359

ABSTRACT

Importance: Myalgia, increased levels of creatine kinase, and persistent muscle weakness have been reported in patients with COVID-19. Objective: To study skeletal muscle and myocardial inflammation in patients with COVID-19 who had died. Design, Setting, and Participants: This case-control autopsy series was conducted in a university hospital as a multidisciplinary postmortem investigation. Patients with COVID-19 or other critical illnesses who had died between March 2020 and February 2021 and on whom an autopsy was performed were included. Individuals for whom informed consent to autopsy was available and the postmortem interval was less than 6 days were randomly selected. Individuals who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 per polymerase chain reaction test results and had clinical features suggestive of COVID-19 were compared with individuals with negative SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test results and an absence of clinical features suggestive of COVID-19. Main Outcomes and Measures: Inflammation of skeletal muscle tissue was assessed by quantification of immune cell infiltrates, expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II antigens on the sarcolemma, and a blinded evaluation on a visual analog scale ranging from absence of pathology to the most pronounced pathology. Inflammation of cardiac muscles was assessed by quantification of immune cell infiltrates. Results: Forty-three patients with COVID-19 (median [interquartile range] age, 72 [16] years; 31 men [72%]) and 11 patients with diseases other than COVID-19 (median [interquartile range] age, 71 [5] years; 7 men [64%]) were included. Skeletal muscle samples from the patients who died with COVID-19 showed a higher overall pathology score (mean [SD], 3.4 [1.8] vs 1.5 [1.0]; 95% CI, 0-3; P < .001) and a higher inflammation score (mean [SD], 3.5 [2.1] vs 1.0 [0.6]; 95% CI, 0-4; P < .001). Relevant expression of MHC class I antigens on the sarcolemma was present in 23 of 42 specimens from patients with COVID-19 (55%) and upregulation of MHC class II antigens in 7 of 42 specimens from patients with COVID-19 (17%), but neither were found in any of the controls. Increased numbers of natural killer cells (median [interquartile range], 8 [8] vs 3 [4] cells per 10 high-power fields; 95% CI, 1-10 cells per 10 high-power fields; P < .001) were found. Skeletal muscles showed more inflammatory features than cardiac muscles, and inflammation was most pronounced in patients with COVID-19 with chronic courses. In some muscle specimens, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, but no evidence for a direct viral infection of myofibers was found by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Conclusions and Relevance: In this case-control study of patients who had died with and without COVID-19, most individuals with severe COVID-19 showed signs of myositis ranging from mild to severe. Inflammation of skeletal muscles was associated with the duration of illness and was more pronounced than cardiac inflammation. Detection of viral load was low or negative in most skeletal and cardiac muscles and probably attributable to circulating viral RNA rather than genuine infection of myocytes. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may be associated with a postinfectious, immune-mediated myopathy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Muscle, Skeletal/pathology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , Myositis/pathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Case-Control Studies , Female , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/metabolism , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Leukocytes/pathology , Macrophages/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocardium/metabolism , Myositis/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sarcolemma/metabolism , Time Factors
14.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(2): e72-e76, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207336

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an entity in children initially characterized by milder case presentations and better prognoses as compared with adults. Recent reports, however, raise concern for a new hyperinflammatory entity in a subset of pediatric COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We report a fatal case of confirmed COVID-19 with hyperinflammatory features concerning for both multi-inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and primary COVID-19. RESULTS: This case highlights the ambiguity in distinguishing between these two entities in a subset of pediatric patients with COVID-19-related disease and the rapid decompensation these patients may experience. CONCLUSIONS: Appropriate clinical suspicion is necessary for both acute disease and MIS-C. SARS-CoV-2 serologic tests obtained early in the diagnostic process may help to narrow down the differential but does not distinguish between acute COVID-19 and MIS-C. Better understanding of the hyperinflammatory changes associated with MIS-C and acute COVID-19 in children will help delineate the roles for therapies, particularly if there is a hybrid phenotype occurring in adolescents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Myocarditis/complications , Myocarditis/physiopathology , Adolescent , African Americans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Myocarditis/diagnosis , Myocarditis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
16.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(5): e173-e178, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute myocarditis (AM) is defined as inflammation of the myocardium. The aim of our study is a comparative analysis of the differences between AM related and unrelated to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: The retrospective study included children with AM treated from January 2018 to November 2020. RESULTS: The study included 24 patients; 7 of 24 had AM related to SARS-CoV-2 and they were older than 7. They were more likely to have abdominal pain (P = 0.014), headache (P = 0.003), cutaneous rash (P = 0.003), and conjunctivitis (P = 0.003), while fulminant myocarditis was commonly registered in AM unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 (P = 0.04). A multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children associated with COVID-19 was diagnosed in six adolescents. Patients with AM related SARS-CoV-2 had lower serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) (P = 0.012), and platelets (P < 0.001), but had a higher C-reactive protein (CRP) value (P = 0.04), and N-terminal-pro hormone BNP in comparison to patients with AM unrelated to SARS-CoV-2. The patients with AM related to SARS-CoV-2 had significant reduction of CRP (P = 0.007). Inotropic drug support was used for shorter durations in patients with AM related to SARS-CoV-2, than in others (P = 0.02). Children with AM related to SARS-CoV-2 had significant improvement of left ventricle systolic function on the third day in hospital (P = 0.001). Patients with AM unrelated to SARS-CoV-2 AM had more frequent adverse outcomes (P = 0.04; three died and four dilated cardiomyopathy). CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to patients with AM unrelated to SARS-CoV-2, patients with AM related to SARS-CoV-2 had a higher CRP value, polymorphic clinical presentation, shorter durations of inotropic drugs use as well as prompt recovery of left ventricle systolic function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Adolescent , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Exanthema , Female , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Male , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/physiopathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , Ventricular Function, Left
17.
J Pathol Clin Res ; 7(4): 326-337, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173791

ABSTRACT

While coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) primarily affects the respiratory tract, pathophysiological changes of the cardiovascular system remain to be elucidated. We performed a retrospective cardiopathological analysis of the heart and vasculature from 23 autopsies of COVID-19 patients, comparing the findings with control tissue. Myocardium from autopsies of COVID-19 patients was categorised into severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positive (n = 14) or negative (n = 9) based on the presence of viral RNA as determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Control tissue was selected from autopsies without COVID-19 (n = 10) with similar clinical sequelae. Histological characteristics were scored by ordinal and/or categorical grading. Five RT-PCR-positive cases underwent in situ hybridisation (ISH) for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with lethal COVID-19 infection were mostly male (78%) and had a high incidence of hypertension (91%), coronary artery disease (61%), and diabetes mellitus (48%). Patients with positive myocardial RT-PCR died earlier after hospital admission (5 versus 12 days, p < 0.001) than patients with negative RT-PCR. An increased severity of fibrin deposition, capillary dilatation, and microhaemorrhage was observed in RT-PCR-positive myocardium than in negatives and controls, with a positive correlation amongst these factors All cases with increased cardioinflammatory infiltrate, without myocyte necrosis (n = 4) or with myocarditis (n = 1), were RT-PCR negative. ISH revealed positivity of viral RNA in interstitial cells. Myocardial capillary dilatation, fibrin deposition, and microhaemorrhage may be the histomorphological correlate of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Increased cardioinflammation including one case of myocarditis was only detected in RT-PCR-negative hearts with significantly longer hospitalisation time. This may imply a secondary immunological response warranting further characterisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Respiratory System/pathology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Autopsy/methods , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , RNA, Viral/genetics
18.
Mod Pathol ; 34(7): 1345-1357, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137760

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has been associated with cardiac injury and dysfunction. While both myocardial inflammatory cell infiltration and myocarditis with myocyte injury have been reported in patients with fatal COVID-19, clinical-pathologic correlations remain limited. The objective was to determine the relationships between cardiac pathological changes in patients dying from COVID-19 and cardiac infection by SARS-CoV-2, laboratory measurements, clinical features, and treatments. In a retrospective study, 41 consecutive autopsies of patients with fatal COVID-19 were analyzed for the associations between cardiac inflammation, myocarditis, cardiac infection by SARS-CoV-2, clinical features, laboratory measurements, and treatments. Cardiac infection was assessed by in situ hybridization and NanoString transcriptomic profiling. Cardiac infection by SARS-CoV-2 was present in 30/41 cases: virus+ with myocarditis (n = 4), virus+ without myocarditis (n = 26), and virus- without myocarditis (n = 11). In the cases with cardiac infection, SARS-CoV-2+ cells in the myocardium were rare, with a median density of 1 cell/cm2. Virus+ cases showed higher densities of myocardial CD68+ macrophages and CD3+ lymphocytes, as well as more electrocardiographic changes (23/27 vs 4/10; P = 0.01). Myocarditis was more prevalent with IL-6 blockade than with nonbiologic immunosuppression, primarily glucocorticoids (2/3 vs 0/14; P = 0.02). Overall, SARS-CoV-2 cardiac infection was less prevalent in patients treated with nonbiologic immunosuppression (7/14 vs 21/24; P = 0.02). Myocardial macrophage and lymphocyte densities overall were positively correlated with the duration of symptoms but not with underlying comorbidities. In summary, cardiac infection with SARS-CoV-2 is common among patients dying from COVID-19 but often with only rare infected cells. Cardiac infection by SARS-CoV-2 is associated with more cardiac inflammation and electrocardiographic changes. Nonbiologic immunosuppression is associated with lower incidences of myocarditis and cardiac infection by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Aged , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Autopsy , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Echocardiography , Electrocardiography , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Male , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Myocardium/pathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
19.
J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther ; 26(3): 217-224, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127659

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in over 88 million cases worldwide of COVID-19 as of January 2021. The heart is one of the most commonly affected organs in COVID-19, but the nature and extent of the cardiac pathology has remained controversial. It has been shown that patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 can sustain type 1 myocardial infarction in the absence of significant atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. However, many patients present with small elevations of troponin enzymes of unclear etiology which correlate with overall COVID-19 disease outcome. Early autopsy reports indicated variable levels of typical lymphocytic myocarditis, while radiology reports have indicated that myocarditis can be a persistent problem after recovery from acute illness, raising concern about participation in college athletics. In this communication, we review the literature to date regarding the gross and microscopic findings of COVID-19 cardiac involvement, present the findings from over 40 cases from our academic medical center, and propose mechanisms by which patients develop small elevations in troponin. .


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Heart/physiopathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Comorbidity , Diagnostic Imaging , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Myocardial Infarction/pathology , Myocarditis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Troponin/biosynthesis
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