The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
BACKGROUND - Cardiac injury, as measured by troponin elevation, has been reported among hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and portends a poor prognosis. However, how the dynamics of troponin elevation interplay with inflammation and coagulation biomarkers over time is unknown. We assessed longitudinal follow-up of cardiac injury, inflammation and coagulation markers in relation to disease severity and outcome.
METHODS - We retrospectively assessed 2068 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between January 29 and April 1, 2020 at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China. We defined cardiac injury as an increase in high sensitivity cardiac troponin-I (hs-cTnI) above the 99th of the upper reference limit. We explored the dynamics of elevation in hs-cTnI and the relationship with inflammation (interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-2 receptor, tumor necrosis factor-α, C-reactive protein) and coagulation (d-dimer, fibrinogen, international normalized ratio) markers in non-critically ill versus critically ill patients longitudinally and further correlated these markers to survivors and non-survivors.
RESULTS - Median age was 63 years (first to third quartile 51-70 years), 51.4% of whom were women. When compared to non-critically ill patients (N = 1592, 77.0%), critically ill (defined as requiring mechanical ventilation, in shock or multiorgan failure) patients (N = 476, 23.0%), had more frequent cardiac injury on admission (30.3% vs. 2.3%, p < 0.001), with increased mortality during hospitalization (38.4% vs. 0%, p < 0.001). Among critically ill patients, non-survivors (N = 183) had a continuous increase in hs-cTnI levels during hospitalization, while survivors (N = 293) showed a decrease in hs-cTnI level between day 4 and 7 after admission. Specifically, cardiac injury is an independent marker of mortality among critically ill patients at admission, day 4-7 and 8-14. Consistent positive correlations between hs-cTnI and interleukin (IL)-6 on admission (r = 0.59), day 4-7 (r = 0.66) and day 8-14 (r = 0.61; all p < 0.001) and d-dimer (at the same timepoints r = 0.54; 0.65; 0.61, all p < 0.001) were observed. A similar behavior was observed between hs-cTnI and most of other biomarkers of inflammation and coagulation.
CONCLUSIONS - Cardiac injury commonly occurs in critically ill COVID-19 patients, with increased levels of hs-cTnI beyond day 3 since admission portending a poor prognosis. A consistent positive correlation of hs-cTnI with IL-6 and d-dimer at several timepoints along hospitalization could suggest nonspecific cytokine-mediated cardiotoxicity.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Background There has been significant controversy regarding the effects of pre-hospitalization use of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors on the prognosis of hypertensive COVID-19 patients. Methods and Results We retrospectively assessed 2,297 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, from January 10 to March 30, 2020; and identified 1,182 patients with known hypertension on pre-hospitalization therapy. We compared the baseline characteristics and in-hospital mortality between hypertensive patients taking RAS inhibitors (N=355) versus non-RAS inhibitors (N=827). Of the 1,182 hypertensive patients (median age 68 years, 49.1% male), 12/355 (3.4%) patients died in the RAS inhibitors group vs. 95/827 (11.5%) patients in the non-RAS inhibitors group (p<0.0001). Adjusted hazard ratio for mortality was 0.28 (95% CI 0.15-0.52, p<0.0001) at 45 days in the RAS inhibitors group compared with non-RAS inhibitors group. Similar findings were observed when patients taking angiotensin receptor blockers (N=289) or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (N=66) were separately compared with non-RAS inhibitors group. The RAS inhibitors group compared with non-RAS inhibitors group had lower levels of C-reactive protein (median 13.5 vs. 24.4 pg/mL; p=0.007) and interleukin-6 (median 6.0 vs. 8.5 pg/mL; p=0.026) on admission. The protective effect of RAS inhibitors on mortality was confirmed in a meta-analysis of published data when our data were added to previous studies (odd ratio 0.44, 95% CI 0.29-0.65, p<0.0001). Conclusions In a large single center retrospective analysis we observed a protective effect of pre-hospitalization use of RAS inhibitors on mortality in hypertensive COVID-19 patients; which might be associated with reduced inflammatory response.
NF-κB is a reduction-oxidation-sensitive transcription factor that plays a key role in regulating the immune response. In these studies, we intended to investigate the role of mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species in regulating NF-κB activation by studying transgenic mice that overexpress mitochondrial-targeted human catalase (mCAT). We treated wild-type (WT) and mCAT mice with intratracheal instillation of LPS and found that mCAT mice had exaggerated NF-κB activation in the lungs, increased neutrophilic alveolitis, and greater lung inflammation/injury compared with WT mice. Additional studies using bone marrow chimeras revealed that this hyperinflammatory phenotype was mediated by immune/inflammatory cells. Mechanistic studies using bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) showed that LPS treatment induced a sustained increase in NF-κB activation and expression of NF-κB-dependent inflammatory mediators in mCAT BMDMs compared with WT BMDMs. Further investigations showed that cytoplasmic, but not mitochondrial, hydrogen peroxide levels were reduced in LPS-treated mCAT BMDMs. However, mCAT macrophages exhibited increased glycolytic and oxidative metabolism, coupled with increased ATP production and an increased intracellular NADH/NAD ratio compared with BMDMs from WT mice. Treatment of BMDMs with lactate increased the intracellular NADH/NAD ratio and upregulated NF-κB activation after LPS treatment, whereas treatment with a potent inhibitor of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (UK5099) decreased the NADH/NAD ratio and reduced NF-κB activation. Taken together, these findings point to an increased availability of reducing equivalents in the form of NADH as an important mechanism by which metabolic activity modulates inflammatory signaling through the NF-κB pathway.
Copyright © 2020 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
COVID-19 infections are characterized by inflammation of the lungs and other organs that ranges from mild and asymptomatic to fulminant and fatal. Patients who are immunocompromised and those with cardiopulmonary comorbidities appear to be particularly afflicted by this illness. During pandemic conditions, many aspects of cancer care have been impacted. One important clinical question is how to manage patients who need anticancer therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) during these conditions. Herein, we consider diagnostic and therapeutic implications of using ICI during this unprecedented period of COVID-19 infections. In particular, we consider the impact of ICI on COVID-19 severity, decisions surrounding continuing or interrupting therapy, diagnostic measures in patients with symptoms or manifestations potentially consistent with either COVID-19 or ICI toxicity, and resumption of therapy in infected patients. While more robust data are needed to guide clinicians on management of patients with cancer who may be affected by COVID-19, we hope this commentary provides useful insights for the clinical community.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Early reports have suggested that smell loss may be an early symptom associated with the pandemic known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The possibility that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might cause olfactory dysfunction is certainly plausible. Patients presenting to specialized smell clinics are commonly diagnosed with upper respiratory infection (URI)-associated olfactory loss and most are presumed to be viral related. In acute phases of infection, it is common to experience some smell loss as a result of nasal inflammation, mucosal edema, and obstruction of airflow into the olfactory cleft. In most cases, these episodes of smell loss are self-limiting and coincide with resolution of URI symptoms. However, in some cases the smell loss persists for months to years and this is presumed to occur through a more direct olfactory insult by the virus. It remains too early to know whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 causes persistent olfactory dysfunction. However, given the scale of this pandemic, if SARS-CoV-2 does cause chronic olfactory loss in even a small portion of those infected, then the overall population prevalence could be quite large. This review provides a brief, practical overview of viral-associated olfactory loss, realizing that evidence related to COVID-19 will likely not be clear for some time. Our goal is to highlight the existence and importance of this condition and provide information geared for both providers and patients. Practical suggestions regarding evaluation and treatment will be provided, realizing that there may be constraints on medical resources and the nature of this pandemic remains dynamic.
© 2020 ARS-AAOA, LLC.
PURPOSE - Merkel cell carcinoma is highly sensitive to both radiation and immunotherapy. Moreover, concurrent radioimmunotherapy may capitalize on anti-tumor immune activity and improve Merkel cell treatment response, although an enhanced immune system may cross-react with native tissues and lead to significant sequelae.
METHODS - Here we present a case study of a patient with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with radiotherapy concurrent with pembrolizumab.
RESULTS - After radioimmunotherapy, the patient developed sensory neuropathy, visual hallucinations, and mixed motor neuron findings. Neurologic dysfunction progressed to profound gastrointestinal dysmotility necessitating parenteral nutrition and intubation with eventual expiration.
CONCLUSION - This case represents a unique autoimmune paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome, likely specific to neuroendocrine tumors and motivated by concurrent radioimmunotherapy. Recognition of the potential role of radioimmunotherapy may provide an advantage in anticipating these severe sequelae.
Integrins, the extracellular matrix receptors that facilitate cell adhesion and migration, are necessary for organ morphogenesis; however, their role in maintaining adult tissue homeostasis is poorly understood. To define the functional importance of β1 integrin in adult mouse lung, we deleted it after completion of development in type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AECs). Aged β1 integrin-deficient mice exhibited chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-like (COPD-like) pathology characterized by emphysema, lymphoid aggregates, and increased macrophage infiltration. These histopathological abnormalities were preceded by β1 integrin-deficient AEC dysfunction such as excessive ROS production and upregulation of NF-κB-dependent chemokines, including CCL2. Genetic deletion of the CCL2 receptor, Ccr2, in mice with β1 integrin-deficient type 2 AECs impaired recruitment of monocyte-derived macrophages and resulted in accelerated inflammation and severe premature emphysematous destruction. The lungs exhibited reduced AEC efferocytosis and excessive numbers of inflamed type 2 AECs, demonstrating the requirement for recruited monocytes/macrophages in limiting lung injury and remodeling in the setting of a chronically inflamed epithelium. These studies support a critical role for β1 integrin in alveolar homeostasis in the adult lung.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - Neonatal patients requiring prolonged intubation are susceptible to both infection and laryngotracheal stenosis (LTS). This study investigated the effect of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) on the development of LTS in neonates.
STUDY DESIGN - Retrospective case-control study.
METHODS - The incidence of LTS in neonates with VAP was compared with the incidence of LTS in matched intubated controls without VAP. Patients were treated at a tertiary-care medical center from 2004 to 2014. Eligible patient records were assessed for the development of LTS. Demographics, medical comorbidities, infection characteristics, and treatment variables were compared using unpaired t test or χ test. Statistical significance was set a priori at P < .05.
RESULTS - When comparing the VAP patients with matched non-VAP controls, we found no significant differences in the incidence of LTS (VAP vs. non-VAP, 8.3% vs. 6.7%; P = .73). In subgroup analysis of the VAP cohort, LTS and non-LTS patients demonstrated similar VAP organisms on broncho-alveolar lavage (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Escherichia coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Enterobacter). Additionally, within the VAP cohort, LTS and non-LTS patients showed similar gestational age (LTS vs. non-LTS, 31.3 days vs. 28.1 days; P = .22), birth weight (LTS vs. non-LTS, 1.6 kg vs. 1.2 kg; P = .33), and similar intubation duration (LTS vs. non-LTS, 37.8 days vs. 27.5 days; P = .52).
CONCLUSIONS - In this neonatal cohort, VAP was not associated with an increased incidence of LTS. Given severity of the burden of LTS on the healthcare system, multi-institutional longitudinal investigation into contributing risk factors for neonatal LTS is warranted.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - NA Laryngoscope, 130:2252-2255, 2020.
© 2019 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.