BREAKING! Coronavirus Latest: Louisiana State University Pathologists’ First COVID-19 Autopsy Series Reveals Cardiopulmonary Anomalies
: Pathologists and medical researchers from Louisiana State University have performed the first series of COVID-19 autopsies on African Americans who died from COVID-19 in New Orleans. The significant findings from these autopsies could provide new insights in the cardiopulmonary aspects of the disease while providing new and critical information to guide patient management.
The findings from these autopsies were published in the medical journal: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
Dr Richard Vander Heide, a Professor and Director of Pathology Research at Loiusiana State University’s Health New Orleans School of Medicine and senior author of the research study told Thailand Medical News, "Our team of researchers found that the small vessels and capillaries in the lungs were obstructed by blood clots and associated hemorrhage that significantly contributed to decompensation and death in these patients,"
He further added, "We also found elevated levels of D-dimers which are fragments of proteins involved in breaking down blood clots. What we did not see was myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle,that early reports suggested significantly contributes to death from COVID-19."
This was a major finding of significant value in terms of developing proper treatment protocols for COVID-19 patients.
The autopsies involved patients both males and females between 40 and 70 years old. All were African American and many had a history of hypertension, obesity, and insulin-dependent type II diabetes, and chronic kidney disease In all cases, the patients presented to the hospital approximately three days to one week after developing a mild cough and fever (to 101-102° F), experiencing sudden respiratory decompensation or collapse at home.
Also chest X-rays revealed "bilateral ground-glass opacities," findings consistent with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Although the LSU Health New Orleans pathologists also found the same widespread damage in the lung structures involved in gas exchange seen in the first SARS epidemic, the small vessel clotting is a new finding that appears to be specific to COVID caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Dr Sharon Fox, Associate Director of Research and Development in the Department of Pathology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine said.
"Our research presents a large series of autopsies within a specific demographic experiencing the highest rate of adverse outcomes within the United States and the findings of these are very significant."
The specially arranged COVID-19 autopsies were performed at University Medical Center in New Orleans, which was built after Hurricane Katrina. It is one of the few hospitals in the United States equipped with an autopsy suite that meets CDC standards for performing autopsy of COVID-19 positive patients safely.
Dr Vander Heide stressed, "The key implications of our research include the discovery of a mechanism for severe pathology within the African American population, likely extendable to all persons with severe disease, and possibly a target for immediate therapeutic management."
He further added, "The results may also be applicable to a broader demographic experiencing severe COVID-19 disease. Management of these patients should include therapy to target these pathologic mechanisms."
It is also interesting to note that more studies are emerging that indicate thrombosis is the driving cause of the severity and fatalities in COVID-19 patients. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/must-read-brazilian-respiratory-expert-says-that-covid-19-should-be-treated-as-a-thrombotic-disease
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