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      Placental Pathology Findings during and after SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Features of Villitis and Malperfusion

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          Abstract

          Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there has been a debate whether pregnant women are at a specific risk for COVID-19 and whether it might be vertically transmittable through the placenta. We present a series of five placentas of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-positive women who had been diagnosed with mild symptoms of COVID-19 or had been asymptomatic before birth. We provide a detailed histopathologic description of morphological changes accompanied by an analysis of presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the placental tissue. All placentas were term deliveries (40th and 41st gestational weeks). One SARS-CoV-2-positive patient presented with cough and dyspnoea. This placenta showed prominent lymphohistiocytic villitis and intervillositis and signs of maternal and foetal malperfusion. Viral RNA was present in both placenta tissue and the umbilical cord and could be visualized by in situ hybridization in the decidua. SARS-CoV-2 tests were negative at the time of delivery of 3/5 women, and their placentas did not show increased inflammatory infiltrates. Signs of maternal and/or foetal malperfusion were present in 100% and 40% of cases, respectively. There was no transplacental transmission to the infants. In our cohort, we can document different time points regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection. In acute COVID-19, prominent lymphohistiocytic villitis may occur and might potentially be attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infection of the placenta. Furthermore, there are histopathological signs of maternal and foetal malperfusion, which might have a relationship to an altered coagulative or microangiopathic state induced by SARS-CoV-2, yet this cannot be proven considering a plethora of confounding factors.

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          Features of 20 133 UK patients in hospital with covid-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol: prospective observational cohort study

          Abstract Objective To characterise the clinical features of patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) in the United Kingdom during the growth phase of the first wave of this outbreak who were enrolled in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study, and to explore risk factors associated with mortality in hospital. Design Prospective observational cohort study with rapid data gathering and near real time analysis. Setting 208 acute care hospitals in England, Wales, and Scotland between 6 February and 19 April 2020. A case report form developed by ISARIC and WHO was used to collect clinical data. A minimal follow-up time of two weeks (to 3 May 2020) allowed most patients to complete their hospital admission. Participants 20 133 hospital inpatients with covid-19. Main outcome measures Admission to critical care (high dependency unit or intensive care unit) and mortality in hospital. Results The median age of patients admitted to hospital with covid-19, or with a diagnosis of covid-19 made in hospital, was 73 years (interquartile range 58-82, range 0-104). More men were admitted than women (men 60%, n=12 068; women 40%, n=8065). The median duration of symptoms before admission was 4 days (interquartile range 1-8). The commonest comorbidities were chronic cardiac disease (31%, 5469/17 702), uncomplicated diabetes (21%, 3650/17 599), non-asthmatic chronic pulmonary disease (18%, 3128/17 634), and chronic kidney disease (16%, 2830/17 506); 23% (4161/18 525) had no reported major comorbidity. Overall, 41% (8199/20 133) of patients were discharged alive, 26% (5165/20 133) died, and 34% (6769/20 133) continued to receive care at the reporting date. 17% (3001/18 183) required admission to high dependency or intensive care units; of these, 28% (826/3001) were discharged alive, 32% (958/3001) died, and 41% (1217/3001) continued to receive care at the reporting date. Of those receiving mechanical ventilation, 17% (276/1658) were discharged alive, 37% (618/1658) died, and 46% (764/1658) remained in hospital. Increasing age, male sex, and comorbidities including chronic cardiac disease, non-asthmatic chronic pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease and obesity were associated with higher mortality in hospital. Conclusions ISARIC WHO CCP-UK is a large prospective cohort study of patients in hospital with covid-19. The study continues to enrol at the time of this report. In study participants, mortality was high, independent risk factors were increasing age, male sex, and chronic comorbidity, including obesity. This study has shown the importance of pandemic preparedness and the need to maintain readiness to launch research studies in response to outbreaks. Study registration ISRCTN66726260.
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            Factors associated with hospital admission and critical illness among 5279 people with coronavirus disease 2019 in New York City: prospective cohort study

            Abstract Objective To describe outcomes of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) in the United States, and the clinical and laboratory characteristics associated with severity of illness. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Single academic medical center in New York City and Long Island. Participants 5279 patients with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) infection between 1 March 2020 and 8 April 2020. The final date of follow up was 5 May 2020. Main outcome measures Outcomes were admission to hospital, critical illness (intensive care, mechanical ventilation, discharge to hospice care, or death), and discharge to hospice care or death. Predictors included patient characteristics, medical history, vital signs, and laboratory results. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to identify risk factors for adverse outcomes, and competing risk survival analysis for mortality. Results Of 11 544 people tested for SARS-Cov-2, 5566 (48.2%) were positive. After exclusions, 5279 were included. 2741 of these 5279 (51.9%) were admitted to hospital, of whom 1904 (69.5%) were discharged alive without hospice care and 665 (24.3%) were discharged to hospice care or died. Of 647 (23.6%) patients requiring mechanical ventilation, 391 (60.4%) died and 170 (26.2%) were extubated or discharged. The strongest risk for hospital admission was associated with age, with an odds ratio of >2 for all age groups older than 44 years and 37.9 (95% confidence interval 26.1 to 56.0) for ages 75 years and older. Other risks were heart failure (4.4, 2.6 to 8.0), male sex (2.8, 2.4 to 3.2), chronic kidney disease (2.6, 1.9 to 3.6), and any increase in body mass index (BMI) (eg, for BMI >40: 2.5, 1.8 to 3.4). The strongest risks for critical illness besides age were associated with heart failure (1.9, 1.4 to 2.5), BMI >40 (1.5, 1.0 to 2.2), and male sex (1.5, 1.3 to 1.8). Admission oxygen saturation of 1 (4.8, 2.1 to 10.9), C reactive protein level >200 (5.1, 2.8 to 9.2), and D-dimer level >2500 (3.9, 2.6 to 6.0) were, however, more strongly associated with critical illness than age or comorbidities. Risk of critical illness decreased significantly over the study period. Similar associations were found for mortality alone. Conclusions Age and comorbidities were found to be strong predictors of hospital admission and to a lesser extent of critical illness and mortality in people with covid-19; however, impairment of oxygen on admission and markers of inflammation were most strongly associated with critical illness and mortality. Outcomes seem to be improving over time, potentially suggesting improvements in care.
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              Postmortem examination of COVID‐19 patients reveals diffuse alveolar damage with severe capillary congestion and variegated findings in lungs and other organs suggesting vascular dysfunction

              Aims Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), has rapidly evolved into a sweeping pandemic. Its major manifestation is in the respiratory tract, and the general extent of organ involvement and the microscopic changes in the lungs remain insufficiently characterised. Autopsies are essential to elucidate COVID‐19‐associated organ alterations. Methods and results This article reports the autopsy findings of 21 COVID‐19 patients hospitalised at the University Hospital Basel and at the Cantonal Hospital Baselland, Switzerland. An in‐corpore technique was performed to ensure optimal staff safety. The primary cause of death was respiratory failure with exudative diffuse alveolar damage and massive capillary congestion, often accompanied by microthrombi despite anticoagulation. Ten cases showed superimposed bronchopneumonia. Further findings included pulmonary embolism (n = 4), alveolar haemorrhage (n = 3), and vasculitis (n = 1). Pathologies in other organ systems were predominantly attributable to shock; three patients showed signs of generalised and five of pulmonary thrombotic microangiopathy. Six patients were diagnosed with senile cardiac amyloidosis upon autopsy. Most patients suffered from one or more comorbidities (hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus). Additionally, there was an overall predominance of males and individuals with blood group A (81% and 65%, respectively). All relevant histological slides are linked as open‐source scans in supplementary files. Conclusions This study provides an overview of postmortem findings in COVID‐19 cases, implying that hypertensive, elderly, obese, male individuals with severe cardiovascular comorbidities as well as those with blood group A may have a lower threshold of tolerance for COVID‐19. This provides a pathophysiological explanation for higher mortality rates among these patients.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pathobiology
                Pathobiology
                PAT
                Pathobiology
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                1015-2008
                1423-0291
                18 September 2020
                : 1-9
                Affiliations
                [1] aPathology, Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
                [2] bInstitute of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital Baselland, Liestal, Switzerland
                [3] cDepartment of Pathology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
                [4] dDepartment of Obstetrics and Antenatal Care, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
                [5] eDepartment of Neonatology, University Children's Hospital Basel UKBB, Basel, Switzerland
                Author notes
                *Thomas Menter or Elisabeth Bruder, Institute of Medical Genetics and Pathology, Schönbeinstrasse 40, CH–4031 Basel (Switzerland), Thomas.Menter@ 123456usb.ch or Elisabeth.Bruder@ 123456usb.ch
                Article
                pat-0001
                10.1159/000511324
                7573905
                32950981
                3a25389e-72d2-4a8c-9d73-b0d9e26619a3
                Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                History
                : 1 July 2020
                : 31 August 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 31, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Research Article

                placenta,malperfusion,covid-19,chronic villitis
                placenta, malperfusion, covid-19, chronic villitis

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