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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10678, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238016


With an urgent need for bedside imaging of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), this study's main goal was to assess inter- and intraobserver agreement in lung ultrasound (LUS) of COVID-19 patients. In this single-center study we prospectively acquired and evaluated 100 recorded ten-second cine-loops in confirmed COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) patients. All loops were rated by ten observers with different subspeciality backgrounds for four times by each observer (400 loops overall) in a random sequence using a web-based rating tool. We analyzed inter- and intraobserver variability for specific pathologies and a semiquantitative LUS score. Interobserver agreement for both, identification of specific pathologies and assignment of LUS scores was fair to moderate (e.g., LUS score 1 Fleiss' κ = 0.27; subpleural consolidations Fleiss' κ = 0.59). Intraobserver agreement was mostly moderate to substantial with generally higher agreement for more distinct findings (e.g., lowest LUS score 0 vs. highest LUS score 3 (median Fleiss' κ = 0.71 vs. 0.79) or air bronchograms (median Fleiss' κ = 0.72)). Intraobserver consistency was relatively low for intermediate LUS scores (e.g. LUS Score 1 median Fleiss' κ = 0.52). We therefore conclude that more distinct LUS findings (e.g., air bronchograms, subpleural consolidations) may be more suitable for disease monitoring, especially with more than one investigator and that training material used for LUS in point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) should pay refined attention to areas such as B-line quantification and differentiation of intermediate LUS scores.

COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic , Observer Variation , Prospective Studies , Ultrasonography
Cells ; 10(3)2021 02 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122409


The article describes the rationale for the administration of zinc-chelating agents in COVID-19 patients. In a previous work I have highlighted that the binding of the SARS-CoV spike proteins to the zinc-metalloprotease ACE2 has been shown to induce ACE2 shedding by activating the zinc-metalloprotease ADAM17, which ultimately leads to systemic upregulation of ACE2 activity. Moreover, based on experimental models, it was also shown the detrimental effect of the excessive systemic activity of ACE2 through its downstream pathways, which leads to "clinical" manifestations resembling COVID-19. In this regard, strong upregulation of circulating ACE2 activity was recently reported in COVID-19 patients, thus supporting the previous hypothesis that COVID-19 may derive from upregulation of ACE2 activity. Based on this, a reasonable hypothesis of using inhibitors that curb the upregulation of both ACE2 and ADAM17 zinc-metalloprotease activities and consequent positive feedback-loops (initially triggered by SARS-CoV-2 and subsequently sustained independently on viral trigger) is proposed as therapy for COVID-19. In particular, zinc-chelating agents such as citrate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) alone or in combination are expected to act in protecting from COVID-19 at different levels thanks to their both anticoagulant properties and inhibitory activity on zinc-metalloproteases. Several arguments are presented in support of this hypothesis and based on the current knowledge of both beneficial/harmful effects and cost/effectiveness, the use of chelating agents in the prevention and therapy of COVID-19 is proposed. In this regard, clinical trials (currently absent) employing citrate/EDTA in COVID-19 are urgently needed in order to shed more light on the efficacy of zinc chelators against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo.

COVID-19/drug therapy , Chelating Agents/pharmacology , Citric Acid/pharmacology , Edetic Acid/pharmacology , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Zinc/metabolism , ADAM17 Protein/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Drug Discovery , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Up-Regulation/drug effects
3D Print Med ; 6(1): 27, 2020 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802427


PURPOSE: Many commonly used mask designs are secured by elastic straps looping around the posterior auricular region. This constant pressure and friction against the skin may contribute to increased wearer pain, irritation, and discomfort. The purpose of this work is to report a modified 3D printed mask extender to alleviate discomfort and increase mask wearability by relieving posterior auricular pressure from isolation masks. METHODS: Our institutional review board designated this project as non-human research and exempt. As part of resourcing 3D printing laboratories along with individual 3D printers to provide resources to healthcare workers, mask extenders were printed to relieve posterior auricular pressure from individuals wearing isolation masks. The authors modifed an existing mask extender, increasing its length with accompanying peripheral rungs for isolation mask securement. 3D printing was performed with Ultimaker S5 (Ultimaker B.V.; Geldermalsen, Netherlands) and CR-10 (Creality3D; Shenzhen, China) 3D printers using polylactic acid filaments. The author's modified extended mask extenders were printed and freely delivered to healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, technologists, and other personnel) at the authors' institution. RESULTS: The final mask extender design was printed with the two 3D printers with a maximum 7 straps printed simultaneously on each 3D printer. Mean print times ranges from 105 min for the Ultimaker S5 printer and 150 min for the CR-10. Four hundred seventy-five mask extenders were delivered to healthcare workers at the authors' institution, with the demand far exceeding the available supply. CONCLUSION: We offer a modification of a 3D printed mask extender design that decreases discomfort and increases the wearability of isolation mask designs with ear loops thought to relieve posterior auricular skin pressure and ability to control strap tension. The design is simple, produced with inexpensive material (polylactic acid), and have been well-received by healthcare providers at our institution.