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      Nailfold capillaroscopy findings in patients with coronavirus disease 19: Broadening the spectrum of covid-19 microvascular involvement


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          Increasing evidence points to endothelial dysfunction as a key pathophysiological factor in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). No specific methods have been identified to predict, detect and quantify the microvascular alterations during COVID-19. Our aim was to assess microvasculature through nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) in COVID-19 patients.


          We performed NVC in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. Elementary alterations were reported for each finger according to a semi-quantitative score. Capillary density, number of enlarged and giant capillaries, number of micro-hemorrhages and micro-thrombosis (NEMO score) were registered.


          We enrolled 82 patients (mean age 58.8 ± 13.2 years, male 68.3%) of whom 28 during the hospitalization and 54 after recovery and hospital discharge. At NVC examination we found abnormalities classifiable as non-specific pattern in 53 patients (64.6%). Common abnormalities were pericapillary edema (80.5%), enlarged capillaries (61.0%), sludge flow (53.7%), meandering capillaries and reduced capillary density (50.0%). No pictures suggestive of scleroderma pattern have been observed. Acute COVID-19 patients, compared to recovered patients, showed a higher prevalence of hemosiderin deposits as a result of micro-hemorrhages ( P = .027) and micro-thrombosis ( P < .016), sludge flow ( P = .001), and pericapillary edema ( P < .001), while recovered patients showed a higher prevalence of enlarged capillaries ( P < .001), loss of capillaries ( P = .002), meandering capillaries ( P < .001), and empty dermal papillae ( P = .006).


          COVID-19 patients present microvascular abnormalities at NVC. Currently ill and recovered subjects are characterized by a different distribution of elementary capillaroscopic alterations, resembling acute and post-acute microvascular damage. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical relevance of NVC in COVID-19.


          • We assessed and accurately described peripheral microvasculature through nailfold videocapillaroscopy in COVID-19 patients, a newly identified infectious disease characterized endothelial and immune dysfunction.

          • The finding of capillary alterations at the level of the nailfold bed suggests a broader COVID-related microvascular involvement compared to what has been found so far.

          • Different nailfold videocapillaroscopy findings in acutely ill and recovered COVID-19 patients resemble a change of the type of microvascular damage from acute to post-acute.

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          Most cited references23

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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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            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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              COVID-19 and Thrombotic or Thromboembolic Disease: Implications for Prevention, Antithrombotic Therapy, and Follow-up

              Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a viral respiratory illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), may predispose patients to thrombotic disease, both in the venous and arterial circulations, due to excessive inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and stasis. In addition, many patients receiving antithrombotic therapy for thrombotic disease may develop COVID-19, which can have implications for choice, dosing, and laboratory monitoring of antithrombotic therapy. Moreover, during a time with much focus on COVID-19, it is critical to consider how to optimize the available technology to care for patients without COVID-19 who have thrombotic disease. Herein, we review the current understanding of the pathogenesis, epidemiology, management and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 who develop venous or arterial thrombosis, and of those with preexisting thrombotic disease who develop COVID-19, or those who need prevention or care for their thrombotic disease during the COVID-19 pandemic.

                Author and article information

                Microvasc Res
                Microvasc. Res
                Microvascular Research
                Elsevier Inc.
                17 September 2020
                17 September 2020
                : 104071
                [a ]Division of Rheumatology, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
                [b ]Unit of Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergy and Rare Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
                [c ]PhD program in Biomolecular Medicine - cycle XXXV, University of Verona, Italy
                [d ]General Medicine and Advanced Care Unit, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
                [e ]Department of Infectious Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
                [f ]Department of Geriatrics, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Division of Rheumatology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo Francesco Vito, 1, 00168 Rome, RM, Italy.
                S0026-2862(20)30131-X 104071
                © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                : 17 July 2020
                : 4 September 2020
                : 4 September 2020

                Cardiovascular Medicine
                nailfold videocapillaroscopy,covid-19,microangiopathy,micro-thrombosis
                Cardiovascular Medicine
                nailfold videocapillaroscopy, covid-19, microangiopathy, micro-thrombosis


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