Clinical Course and Outcomes of Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection: a Preliminary Report of the First 28 Patients from the Korean Cohort Study on COVID-19.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. In this retrospective multicenter study, we investigated the clinical course and outcomes of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from early cases in Republic of Korea. METHODS:All of the cases confirmed by real time polymerase chain reaction were enrolled from the 1st to the 28th patient nationwide. Clinical data were collected and analyzed for changes in clinical severity including laboratory, radiological, and virologic dynamics during the progression of illness. RESULTS:The median age was 40 years (range, 20-73 years) and 15 (53.6%) patients were male. The most common symptoms were cough (28.6%) and sore throat (28.6%), followed by fever (25.0%). Diarrhea was not common (10.7%). Two patients had no symptoms. Initial chest X-ray (CXR) showed infiltration in 46.4% of the patients, but computed tomography scan confirmed pneumonia in 88.9% (16/18) of the patients. Six patients (21.4%) required supplemental oxygen therapy, but no one needed mechanical ventilation. Lymphopenia was more common in severe cases. Higher level of C-reactive protein and worsening of chest radiographic score was observed during the 5-7 day period after symptom onset. Viral shedding was high from day 1 of illness, especially from the upper respiratory tract (URT). CONCLUSION:The prodromal symptoms of COVID-19 were mild and most patients did not have limitations of daily activity. Viral shedding from URT was high from the prodromal phase. Radiological pneumonia was common from the early days of illness, but it was frequently not evident in simple CXR. These findings could be plausible explanations for the easy and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the community.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the fact that a large proportion of children with fever in Africa present at primary health care facilities, few studies have been designed to specifically study the causes of uncomplicated childhood febrile illness at this level of care, especially in areas like Zanzibar that has recently undergone a dramatic change from high to low malaria transmission. METHODS:We prospectively studied the aetiology of febrile illness in 677 children aged 2-59 months with acute uncomplicated fever managed by IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) guidelines in Zanzibar, using point-of-care tests, urine culture, blood-PCR, chest X-ray (CXR) of IMCI-pneumonia classified patients, and multiple quantitative (q)PCR investigations of nasopharyngeal (NPH) (all patients) and rectal (GE) swabs (diarrhoea patients). For comparison, we also performed NPH and GE qPCR analyses in 167 healthy community controls. Final fever diagnoses were retrospectively established based on all clinical and laboratory data. Clinical outcome was assessed during a 14-day follow-up. The utility of IMCI for identifying infections presumed to require antibiotics was evaluated. FINDINGS:NPH-qPCR and GE-qPCR detected ?1 pathogen in 657/672 (98%) and 153/164 (93%) of patients and 158/166 (95%) and 144/165 (87%) of controls, respectively. Overall, 57% (387/677) had IMCI-pneumonia, but only 12% (42/342) had CXR-confirmed pneumonia. Two patients were positive for Plasmodium falciparum. Respiratory syncytial virus (24.5%), influenza A/B (22.3%), rhinovirus (10.5%) and group-A streptococci (6.4%), CXR-confirmed pneumonia (6.2%), Shigella (4.3%) were the most common viral and bacterial fever diagnoses, respectively. Blood-PCR conducted in a sub-group of patients (n = 83) without defined fever diagnosis was negative for rickettsiae, chikungunya, dengue, Rift Valley fever and West Nile viruses. Antibiotics were prescribed to 500 (74%) patients, but only 152 (22%) had an infection retrospectively considered to require antibiotics. Clinical outcome was generally good. However, two children died. Only 68 (11%) patients remained febrile on day 3 and three of them had verified fever on day 14. An additional 29 (4.5%) children had fever relapse on day 14. Regression analysis determined C-reactive Protein (CRP) as the only independent variable significantly associated with CXR-confirmed pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first study on uncomplicated febrile illness in African children that both applied a comprehensive laboratory panel and a healthy control group. A majority of patients had viral respiratory tract infection. Pathogens were frequently detected by qPCR also in asymptomatic children, demonstrating the importance of incorporating controls in fever aetiology studies. The precision of IMCI for identifying infections requiring antibiotics was low.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Previous studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have focused on populations with normal immunity, but lack data on immunocompromised populations. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 pneumonia in kidney transplant recipients. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:A total of 10 renal transplant recipients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia were enrolled in this retrospective study. In addition, 10 of their family members diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia were included in the control group. INTERVENTION:Immunosuppressant reduction and low-dose methylprednisolone therapy. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:The clinical outcomes (the severity of pneumonia, recovery rate, time of virus shedding, and length of illness) were compared with the control group by statistical analysis. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:The clinical symptomatic, laboratory, and radiological characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in the renal transplant recipients were similar to those of severe COVID-19 pneumonia in the general population. The severity of COVID-19 pneumonia was greater in the transplant recipients than in the control group (five severe/three critical cases vs one severe case). Five patients developed transient renal allograft damage. After a longer time of virus shedding (28.4?±?9.3 vs 12.2?±?4.6 d in the control group) and a longer course of illness (35.3?±?8.3 vs 18.8?±?10.5 d in the control group), nine of the 10 transplant patients recovered successfully after treatment. One patient developed acute renal graft failure and died of progressive respiratory failure. CONCLUSIONS:Kidney transplant recipients had more severe COVID-19 pneumonia than the general population, but most of them recovered after a prolonged clinical course and virus shedding. Findings from this small group of cases may have important implications for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia in immunosuppressed populations. PATIENT SUMMARY:Immunosuppressed transplant recipients with coronavirus disease 2019 infection had more severe pneumonia, but most of them still achieved a good prognosis after appropriate treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Guidelines currently do not recommend the routine use of chest x-ray (CXR) in bronchiolitis. However, CXR is still performed in a high percentage of cases, mainly to diagnose or rule out pneumonia. The inappropriate use of CXR results in children exposure to ionizing radiations and increased medical costs. Lung Ultrasound (LUS) has become an emerging diagnostic tool for diagnosing pneumonia in the last decades. The purpose of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy and reliability of LUS for the detection of pneumonia in hospitalized children with bronchiolitis and to evaluate the agreement between LUS and CXR in diagnosing pneumonia in these patients. METHODS:We enrolled children admitted to our hospital in 2016-2017 with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis and undergone CXR because of clinical suspicion of concomitant pneumonia. LUS was performed in each child by a pediatrician blinded to the patient's clinical, laboratory and CXR findings. An exploratory analysis was done in the first 30 patients to evaluate the inter-observer agreement between a pediatrician and a radiologist who independently performed LUS. The diagnosis of pneumonia was established by an expert clinician based on the recommendations of the British Thoracic Society guidelines. RESULTS:Eighty seven children with bronchiolitis were investigated. A final diagnosis of concomitant pneumonia was made in 25 patients. Sensitivity and specificity of LUS for the diagnosis of pneumonia were 100% and 83.9% respectively, with an area under-the-curve of 0.92, while CXR showed a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 87.1%. When only consolidation >?1?cm was considered consistent with pneumonia, the specificity of LUS increased to 98.4% and the sensitivity decreased to 80.0%, with an area under-the-curve of 0.89. Cohen's kappa between pediatrician and radiologist sonologists in the first 30 patients showed an almost perfect agreement in diagnosing pneumonia by LUS (K 0.93). CONCLUSIONS:This study shows the good accuracy of LUS in diagnosing pneumonia in children with clinical bronchiolitis. When including only consolidation size >?1?cm, specificity of LUS was higher than CXR, avoiding the need to perform CXR in these patients. Added benefit of LUS included high inter-observer agreement. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Identifier: NCT03280732 . Registered 12 September 2017 (retrospectively registered).
Project description:Chest-X ray (CXR) radiography can be used as a first-line triage process for non-COVID-19 patients with pneumonia. However, the similarity between features of CXR images of COVID-19 and pneumonia caused by other infections make the differential diagnosis by radiologists challenging. We hypothesized that machine learning-based classifiers can reliably distinguish the CXR images of COVID-19 patients from other forms of pneumonia. We used a dimensionality reduction method to generate a set of optimal features of CXR images to build an efficient machine learning classifier that can distinguish COVID-19 cases from non-COVID-19 cases with high accuracy and sensitivity. By using global features of the whole CXR images, we were able to successfully implement our classifier using a relatively small dataset of CXR images. We propose that our COVID-Classifier can be used in conjunction with other tests for optimal allocation of hospital resources by rapid triage of non-COVID-19 cases.
Project description:Chest radiographs (CXRs) are frequently used to assess pneumonia cases. Variations in CXR appearances between epidemiological settings and their correlation with clinical signs are not well documented.The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health project enrolled 4232 cases of hospitalized World Health Organization (WHO)-defined severe and very severe pneumonia from 9 sites in 7 countries (Bangladesh, the Gambia, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia). At admission, each case underwent a standardized assessment of clinical signs and pneumonia risk factors by trained health personnel, and a CXR was taken that was interpreted using the standardized WHO methodology. CXRs were categorized as abnormal (consolidation and/or other infiltrate), normal, or uninterpretable.CXRs were interpretable in 3587 (85%) cases, of which 1935 (54%) were abnormal (site range, 35%-64%). Cases with abnormal CXRs were more likely than those with normal CXRs to have hypoxemia (45% vs 26%), crackles (69% vs 62%), tachypnea (85% vs 80%), or fever (20% vs 16%) and less likely to have wheeze (30% vs 38%; all P < .05). CXR consolidation was associated with a higher case fatality ratio at 30-day follow-up (13.5%) compared to other infiltrate (4.7%) or normal (4.9%) CXRs.Clinically diagnosed pneumonia cases with abnormal CXRs were more likely to have signs typically associated with pneumonia. However, CXR-normal cases were common, and clinical signs considered indicative of pneumonia were present in substantial proportions of these cases. CXR-consolidation cases represent a group with an increased likelihood of death at 30 days post-discharge.
Project description:This study aimed to develop and validate computer-aided diagnosis (CXDx) system for classification between COVID-19 pneumonia, non-COVID-19 pneumonia, and the healthy on chest X-ray (CXR) images. From two public datasets, 1248 CXR images were obtained, which included 215, 533, and 500 CXR images of COVID-19 pneumonia patients, non-COVID-19 pneumonia patients, and the healthy samples, respectively. The proposed CADx system utilized VGG16 as a pre-trained model and combination of conventional method and mixup as data augmentation methods. Other types of pre-trained models were compared with the VGG16-based model. Single type or no data augmentation methods were also evaluated. Splitting of training/validation/test sets was used when building and evaluating the CADx system. Three-category accuracy was evaluated for test set with 125 CXR images. The three-category accuracy of the CAD system was 83.6% between COVID-19 pneumonia, non-COVID-19 pneumonia, and the healthy. Sensitivity for COVID-19 pneumonia was more than 90%. The combination of conventional method and mixup was more useful than single type or no data augmentation method. In conclusion, this study was able to create an accurate CADx system for the 3-category classification. Source code of our CADx system is available as open source for COVID-19 research.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Lung ultrasound (LUS) in combination with a biomarker has not yet been studied. We propose a clinical trial where the primary aims are: 1. To assess whether an algorithm with LUS and procalcitonin (PCT) may be useful for diagnosing bacterial pneumonia; 2. To analyse the sensitivity and specificity of LUS vs chest X-ray (CXR). METHODS/DESIGN:A 3-year clinical trial. INCLUSION CRITERIA:children younger than 18?years old with suspected pneumonia in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Patients will be randomised into two groups: Experimental Group: LUS will be performed as first lung image. CONTROL GROUP:CXR will be performed as first pulmonary image. Patients will be classified according to the image and the PCT: a) PCT?<?1?ng/mL and LUS/CXR are not suggestive of bacterial pneumonia (BN), no antibiotic will be prescribed; b) LUS/CXR are suggestive of BN, regardless of the PCT, antibiotic therapy is recommended; c) LUS/CXR is not suggestive of BN and PCT >?1?ng/mL, antibiotic therapy is recommended. CONCLUSION:This algorithm will help us to diagnose bacterial pneumonia and to prescribe the correct antibiotic treatment. A reduction of antibiotics per patient, of the treatment length, and of the exposure to ionizing radiation and in costs is expected. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT04217980 .
Project description:Bacterial pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly. We hypothesize that dysbiosis between regular residents of the upper respiratory tract (URT) microbiome, that is balance between commensals and potential pathogens, is involved in pathogen overgrowth and consequently disease. We compared oropharyngeal microbiota of elderly pneumonia patients (n=100) with healthy elderly (n=91) by 16S-rRNA-based sequencing and verified our findings in young adult pneumonia patients (n=27) and young healthy adults (n=187). Microbiota profiles differed significantly between elderly pneumonia patients and healthy elderly (PERMANOVA, P<0.0005). Highly similar differences were observed between microbiota profiles of young adult pneumonia patients and their healthy controls. Clustering resulted in 11 (sub)clusters including 95% (386/405) of samples. We observed three microbiota profiles strongly associated with pneumonia (P<0.05) and either dominated by lactobacilli (n=11), Rothia (n=51) or Streptococcus (pseudo)pneumoniae (n=42). In contrast, three other microbiota clusters (in total n=183) were correlated with health (P<0.05) and were all characterized by more diverse profiles containing higher abundances of especially Prevotella melaninogenica, Veillonella and Leptotrichia. For the remaining clusters (n=99), the association with health or disease was less clear. A decision tree model based on the relative abundance of five bacterial community members in URT microbiota showed high specificity of 95% and sensitivity of 84% (89% and 73%, respectively, after cross-validation) for differentiating pneumonia patients from healthy individuals. These results suggest that pneumonia in elderly and young adults is associated with dysbiosis of the URT microbiome with bacterial overgrowth of single species and absence of distinct anaerobic bacteria. Whether the observed microbiome changes are a cause or a consequence of the development of pneumonia or merely coincide with disease status remains a question for future research.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess the diagnostic accuracy of thermal imaging (TI) in the setting of focal consolidative pneumonia with chest X-ray (CXR) as the gold standard. SETTING:A large, 973-bed teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. PARTICIPANTS:47 patients enrolled, 15 in a training set, 32 in a test set. Age range 10 months to 82 years (median=50 years). MATERIALS AND METHODS:Subjects received CXR with subsequent TI within 4?hours of each other. CXR and TI were assessed in blinded random order. Presence of focal opacity (pneumonia) on CXR, the outcome parameter, was recorded. For TI, presence of area(s) of increased heat (pneumonia) was recorded. Fisher's exact test was used to assess the significance of the correlations of positive findings in the same anatomical region. RESULTS:With TI compared with the CXR (the outcome parameter), sensitivity was 80.0% (95%?CIs 29.9% to 98.9%), specificity was 57.7% (95% CI 37.2% to 76.0%). Positive predictive value of TI was 26.7% (95% CI 8.9% to55.2%) and its negative predictive value was 93.8% (95% CI 67.7% to 99.7%). CONCLUSIONS:This feasibility study confirms proof of concept that chest TI is consistent with CXR in suggesting similarly localised focal pneumonia with high sensitivity and negative predictive value. Further investigation of TI as a point-of-care imaging modality is warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The first influenza pandemic of the 21th century was ignited by a new strain of influenza A virus (A/H1N1pdm). Specific patient groups, including those with comorbidities, pregnant women, young children, older and immunocompromised patients, are at increased risk for serious influenza-related disease. This study was aimed at investigating the influence of clinical presentation, antiviral treatment and possible drug resistance-associated mutations, on the extent and duration of viral shedding in patients infected with A/H1N1pdm. METHODS:An observational study was performed, based on retrospective review of clinical and laboratory records of patients who were hospitalized for A/H1N1pdm infection at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani", Rome, Italy, between April 24 and December 31, 2009. Among 119 hospitalized patients, 39 were selected for a post hoc analysis, based on the availability of serial nasopharyngeal swabs samples and related information. RESULTS:Eleven out of the 39 study patients (28.2%) presented with pneumonia; 29 (74.4%) received antiviral treatment. Patients with pneumonia were significantly older than patients without pneumonia. The mean values of viral RNA concentration were not significantly increased in patients with pneumonia, but a significant increase in the duration of viral shedding was observed as compared to patients without pneumonia. In patients receiving antivirals, the viral RNA concentration was significantly reduced in comparison to untreated patients at days 4-5 after symptom onset, while the overall duration of viral shedding was only marginally affected. A significant correlation between duration of viral shedding and time elapsed between symptom onset and therapy start was observed, with a significant reduction of days of viral shedding when therapy was initiated within 2 days of symptoms appearance. No known drug resistance mutations were detected in patients with prolonged viral shedding. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that severe respiratory illness is associated with delayed virus clearance in patients with A/H1N1pdm infection. Antivirals caused an early reduction of viral load, but only marginally affected the overall duration of shedding. Prolonged shedding was not associated with the emergence of strains carrying known drug-resistance mutations.