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


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

Aortic Diseases/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Microvessels/pathology , Plaque, Atherosclerotic/pathology , Vasa Vasorum/pathology , Aged , Aortic Diseases/pathology , Humans , Male
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(2)2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389386


Neutrophils are primary effector cells of innate immunity and fight infection by phagocytosis and degranulation. Activated neutrophils also release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in response to a variety of stimuli. These NETs are net-like complexes composed of cell-free DNA, histones and neutrophil granule proteins. Besides the evolutionarily conserved mechanism to capture and eliminate pathogens, NETs are also associated with pathophysiological processes of various diseases. Here, we elucidate the mechanisms of NET formation and their different implications in disease. We focused on autoinflammatory and cardiovascular disorders as the leading cause of death. Neutrophil extracellular traps are not only present in various cardiovascular diseases but play an essential role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, arterial and venous thrombosis, as well as in the development and progression of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Furthermore, NETosis can be considered as a source of autoantigens and maintains an inflammatory milieu promoting autoimmune diseases. Indeed, there is further need for research into the balance between NET induction, inhibition, and degradation in order to pharmacologically target NETs and their compounds without impairing the patient's immune defense. This review may be of interest to both basic scientists and clinicians to stimulate translational research and innovative clinical approaches.

Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal/pathology , Autoimmune Diseases/pathology , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Neutrophil Activation/immunology , Plaque, Atherosclerotic/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology
AJNR Am J Neuroradiol ; 41(11): 1993-1995, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724382


We present a radiology-pathology case series of 3 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with acute ischemic stroke due to fulminant carotid thrombosis overlying mild atherosclerotic plaque and propose a novel stroke mechanism: COVID-associated carotid atherothrombosis.

Carotid Artery Diseases/virology , Carotid Artery Thrombosis/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/etiology , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Plaque, Atherosclerotic/pathology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2