• Entangling COVID-19 associated thrombosis into a secondary antiphospholipid antibody syndrome: Diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives (Review)

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-06-25)
      The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2) is a novel β coronavirus that is the etiological agent of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) that at the time of writing (June 16, 2020) has infected almost 6 million people with some 450,000 deaths. These numbers are still rising daily. Most (some 80%) cases of COVID‑19 infection are asymptomatic, a substantial number of cases (15%) require hospitalization and an additional fraction of patients (5%) need recovery in intensive care units. Mortality for COVID‑19 infection appears to occur globally between 0.1 and 0.5% of infected patients although the frequency of lethality is significantly augmented in the elderly and in patients with other comorbidities. The development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and episodes of thromboembolism that may lead to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) represent the primary causes of lethality during COVID‑19 infection. Increasing evidence suggests that thrombotic diathesis is due to multiple derangements of the coagulation system including marked elevation of D‑dimer that correlate negatively with survival. We propose here that the thromboembolic events and eventually the development of DIC provoked by SARS‑CoV‑2 infection may represent a secondary anti‑phospholipid antibody syndrome (APS). We will apply both Baconian inductivism and Cartesian deductivism to prove that secondary APS is likely responsible for coagulopathy during the course of COVID‑19 infection. Diagnostic and therapeutic implications of this are also discussed.
    • Impact of Tobacco Smoking Status on Morbidity and Mortality in Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19 Pneumonia: Observational study

      Fernandez Romero, Gustavo; Dominguez-Castillo, Eduardo; Zheng, Matthew; Yousef, Ibraheem; Darnell, Melinda; Ganghemi, Andrew; Dorey-Stein, Zack; Zantah, Massa; Townsend, Ryan; Myers, Catherine; Ku, Tse-Shuen; Patel, Maulin; Patlakh, Nicole; Jacobs, Michael; Zhao, Huaqing; Gupta, Rohit; Rali, Parth; Criner, Gerard J. (2020-11-14)
      Background: Determine the impact of tobacco smoking status on patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia in the need for ICU care, mechanical ventilation and mortality. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study, that involved chart review. All adults 18 years or older with a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia hospitalized from March 15th, 2020 to May 06th, 2020 with a positive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19. We used chi-squared test for categorical variables and student t-tests or Wilcoxon rank sum tests for continuous variables. We further used adjusted and unadjusted logistic regression to assess risk factors for mortality and intubation. Results: Among 577 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia, 268 (46.4%) had a history of smoking including 187 former and 81 active smokers. The former smokers when compared with non-smokers were predominantly older with more comorbidities. Also, when compared with never smokers D Dimer levels were elevated in active (p=0.05) and former smokers (p<0.01). The former smokers versus non-smokers required increased need for advanced non-invasive respiratory support on admission (p<0.05), ICU care (p<0.05) and had higher mortality [1.99 (CI 95% 1.03-3.85, p<0.05)]. Active smokers versus non-smokers received more mechanical ventilation [OR 2.11 (CI 95% 1.06-4.19, p<0.05)]. Conclusions: In our cohort of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, former smokers had higher need for non-invasive respiratory support on admission, ICU care, and mortality compared to non-smokers. Also, active smokers versus non-smokers needed more mechanical ventilation.