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      Respiratory mechanics and gas exchanges in the early course of COVID-19 ARDS: a hypothesis-generating study

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          Abstract

          Rationale

          COVID-19 ARDS could differ from typical forms of the syndrome.

          Objective

          Pulmonary microvascular injury and thrombosis are increasingly reported as constitutive features of COVID-19 respiratory failure. Our aim was to study pulmonary mechanics and gas exchanges in COVID-2019 ARDS patients studied early after initiating protective invasive mechanical ventilation, seeking after corresponding pathophysiological and biological characteristics.

          Methods

          Between March 22 and March 30, 2020 respiratory mechanics, gas exchanges, circulating endothelial cells (CEC) as markers of endothelial damage, and D-dimers were studied in 22 moderate-to-severe COVID-19 ARDS patients, 1 [1–4] day after intubation (median [IQR]).

          Measurements and main results

          Thirteen moderate and 9 severe COVID-19 ARDS patients were studied after initiation of high PEEP protective mechanical ventilation. We observed moderately decreased respiratory system compliance: 39.5 [33.1–44.7] mL/cmH 2O and end-expiratory lung volume: 2100 [1721–2434] mL. Gas exchanges were characterized by hypercapnia 55 [44–62] mmHg, high physiological dead-space ( V D/ V T): 75 [69–85.5] % and ventilatory ratio (VR): 2.9 [2.2–3.4]. V D/ V T and VR were significantly correlated: r 2 = 0.24, p = 0.014. No pulmonary embolism was suspected at the time of measurements. CECs and D-dimers were elevated as compared to normal values: 24 [12–46] cells per mL and 1483 [999–2217] ng/mL, respectively.

          Conclusions

          We observed early in the course of COVID-19 ARDS high V D/ V T in association with biological markers of endothelial damage and thrombosis. High V D/ V T can be explained by high PEEP settings and added instrumental dead space, with a possible associated role of COVID-19-triggered pulmonary microvascular endothelial damage and microthrombotic process.

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          Most cited references31

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          Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

          Summary Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. Methods In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Findings 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. Interpretation The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. Funding Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.
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            Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19

            Cardiovascular complications are rapidly emerging as a key threat in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in addition to respiratory disease. The mechanisms underlying the disproportionate effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on patients with cardiovascular comorbidities, however, remain incompletely understood.1, 2 SARS-CoV-2 infects the host using the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is expressed in several organs, including the lung, heart, kidney, and intestine. ACE2 receptors are also expressed by endothelial cells. 3 Whether vascular derangements in COVID-19 are due to endothelial cell involvement by the virus is currently unknown. Intriguingly, SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect engineered human blood vessel organoids in vitro. 4 Here we demonstrate endothelial cell involvement across vascular beds of different organs in a series of patients with COVID-19 (further case details are provided in the appendix). Patient 1 was a male renal transplant recipient, aged 71 years, with coronary artery disease and arterial hypertension. The patient's condition deteriorated following COVID-19 diagnosis, and he required mechanical ventilation. Multisystem organ failure occurred, and the patient died on day 8. Post-mortem analysis of the transplanted kidney by electron microscopy revealed viral inclusion structures in endothelial cells (figure A, B ). In histological analyses, we found an accumulation of inflammatory cells associated with endothelium, as well as apoptotic bodies, in the heart, the small bowel (figure C) and lung (figure D). An accumulation of mononuclear cells was found in the lung, and most small lung vessels appeared congested. Figure Pathology of endothelial cell dysfunction in COVID-19 (A, B) Electron microscopy of kidney tissue shows viral inclusion bodies in a peritubular space and viral particles in endothelial cells of the glomerular capillary loops. Aggregates of viral particles (arrow) appear with dense circular surface and lucid centre. The asterisk in panel B marks peritubular space consistent with capillary containing viral particles. The inset in panel B shows the glomerular basement membrane with endothelial cell and a viral particle (arrow; about 150 nm in diameter). (C) Small bowel resection specimen of patient 3, stained with haematoxylin and eosin. Arrows point to dominant mononuclear cell infiltrates within the intima along the lumen of many vessels. The inset of panel C shows an immunohistochemical staining of caspase 3 in small bowel specimens from serial section of tissue described in panel D. Staining patterns were consistent with apoptosis of endothelial cells and mononuclear cells observed in the haematoxylin-eosin-stained sections, indicating that apoptosis is induced in a substantial proportion of these cells. (D) Post-mortem lung specimen stained with haematoxylin and eosin showed thickened lung septa, including a large arterial vessel with mononuclear and neutrophilic infiltration (arrow in upper inset). The lower inset shows an immunohistochemical staining of caspase 3 on the same lung specimen; these staining patterns were consistent with apoptosis of endothelial cells and mononuclear cells observed in the haematoxylin-eosin-stained sections. COVID-19=coronavirus disease 2019. Patient 2 was a woman, aged 58 years, with diabetes, arterial hypertension, and obesity. She developed progressive respiratory failure due to COVID-19 and subsequently developed multi-organ failure and needed renal replacement therapy. On day 16, mesenteric ischaemia prompted removal of necrotic small intestine. Circulatory failure occurred in the setting of right heart failure consequent to an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrest resulted in death. Post-mortem histology revealed lymphocytic endotheliitis in lung, heart, kidney, and liver as well as liver cell necrosis. We found histological evidence of myocardial infarction but no sign of lymphocytic myocarditis. Histology of the small intestine showed endotheliitis (endothelialitis) of the submucosal vessels. Patient 3 was a man, aged 69 years, with hypertension who developed respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19 and required mechanical ventilation. Echocardiography showed reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Circulatory collapse ensued with mesenteric ischaemia, and small intestine resection was performed, but the patient survived. Histology of the small intestine resection revealed prominent endotheliitis of the submucosal vessels and apoptotic bodies (figure C). We found evidence of direct viral infection of the endothelial cell and diffuse endothelial inflammation. Although the virus uses ACE2 receptor expressed by pneumocytes in the epithelial alveolar lining to infect the host, thereby causing lung injury, the ACE2 receptor is also widely expressed on endothelial cells, which traverse multiple organs. 3 Recruitment of immune cells, either by direct viral infection of the endothelium or immune-mediated, can result in widespread endothelial dysfunction associated with apoptosis (figure D). The vascular endothelium is an active paracrine, endocrine, and autocrine organ that is indispensable for the regulation of vascular tone and the maintenance of vascular homoeostasis. 5 Endothelial dysfunction is a principal determinant of microvascular dysfunction by shifting the vascular equilibrium towards more vasoconstriction with subsequent organ ischaemia, inflammation with associated tissue oedema, and a pro-coagulant state. 6 Our findings show the presence of viral elements within endothelial cells and an accumulation of inflammatory cells, with evidence of endothelial and inflammatory cell death. These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection facilitates the induction of endotheliitis in several organs as a direct consequence of viral involvement (as noted with presence of viral bodies) and of the host inflammatory response. In addition, induction of apoptosis and pyroptosis might have an important role in endothelial cell injury in patients with COVID-19. COVID-19-endotheliitis could explain the systemic impaired microcirculatory function in different vascular beds and their clinical sequelae in patients with COVID-19. This hypothesis provides a rationale for therapies to stabilise the endothelium while tackling viral replication, particularly with anti-inflammatory anti-cytokine drugs, ACE inhibitors, and statins.7, 8, 9, 10, 11 This strategy could be particularly relevant for vulnerable patients with pre-existing endothelial dysfunction, which is associated with male sex, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and established cardiovascular disease, all of which are associated with adverse outcomes in COVID-19.
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              Pulmonary Vascular Endothelialitis, Thrombosis, and Angiogenesis in Covid-19

              Progressive respiratory failure is the primary cause of death in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Despite widespread interest in the pathophysiology of the disease, relatively little is known about the associated morphologic and molecular changes in the peripheral lung of patients who die from Covid-19.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                jean-luc.diehl@aphp.fr
                Journal
                Ann Intensive Care
                Ann Intensive Care
                Annals of Intensive Care
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                2110-5820
                16 July 2020
                16 July 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Université de Paris, Innovative Therapies in Haemostasis, INSERM, 75006 Paris, France
                [2 ]GRID grid.414093.b, Intensive Care Unit and Biosurgical Research Lab (Carpentier Foundation), , AH-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, ; 20 Rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris, France
                [3 ]Intensive Care Unit, AH-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Université de Paris, 75015 Paris, France
                [4 ]GRID grid.410511.0, ISNI 0000 0001 2149 7878, Université de Paris, PARCC, INSERM, ; 75015 Paris, France
                [5 ]GRID grid.414093.b, Emergency Department, , AP–HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, ; 75015 Paris, France
                [6 ]Plastic Surgery Department, AP-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Université de Paris, 75015 Paris, France
                [7 ]Vascular Medicine Department and Biosurgical Research Lab (Carpentier Foundation), AP-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Université de Paris, 75015 Paris, France
                [8 ]GRID grid.414093.b, Hematology Department and Biosurgical Research Lab (Carpentier Foundation), , AH-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, ; 75015 Paris, France
                [9 ]GRID grid.414093.b, Vascular Medicine Department, , AP-HP, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, ; 75015 Paris, France
                Article
                716
                10.1186/s13613-020-00716-1
                7364286
                8aa674ec-c022-4a86-890b-54787c889168
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                ards,covid-19,physiological dead-space,ventilatory ratio
                Emergency medicine & Trauma
                ards, covid-19, physiological dead-space, ventilatory ratio

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