“The most characteristic symptom of patients with COVID-19 is respiratory distress, and most of the patients admitted to the intensive care could not breathe spontaneously. Additionally, some patients with COVID-19 also showed neurologic signs, such as headache, nausea, and vomiting. Increasing evidence shows that coronaviruses are not always confined to the respiratory tract and that they may also invade the central nervous system inducing neurological diseases. The infection of SARS-CoV has been reported in the brains from both patients and experimental animals, where the brainstem was heavily infected. Furthermore, some coronaviruses have been demonstrated able to spread via a synapse-connected route to the medullary cardiorespiratory center from the mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors in the lung and lower respiratory airways.”
— Li YC, Bai WZ, Hashikawa T. The neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV2 may play a role in the respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients. J Med Virol. 2020;92(6):552-555. doi:10.1002/jmv.25728.
“A 93-year-old woman was admitted with a 10-day history of cough and prostration. Thoracic computed tomography revealed extensive ground-glass opacities in both the lungs. The polymerase chain reaction test of sputum for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was positive. She was treated with antiviral agents and steroid pulse therapy. However, her oxygen saturation gradually declined, and she died 10 days after hospitalization. The most important autopsy finding was fuzzily segmented diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) that expanded from the subpleural to the medial area. No remarkable changes were observed in organs other than the lungs. Therefore, pneumocytes were suggested as the primary target for SARS-CoV-2, which might explain why coronavirus infectious disease-19 is a serious condition. Thus, early treatment is essential to prevent viral replication from reaching a level that triggers DAD.”
— Okudela K, Hayashi H, Yoshimura Y, et al. A Japanese case of COVID-19: An autopsy report [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 13]. Pathol Int. 2020;10.1111/pin.13002. doi:10.1111/pin.13002.
“A relatively high mortality of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is worrying, and the application of heparin in COVID-19 has been recommended by some expert consensus because of the risk of disseminated intravascular coagulation and venous thromboembolism. However, its efficacy remains to be validated.
“Anticoagulant therapy mainly with low molecular weight heparin appears to be associated with better prognosis in severe COVID-19 patients meeting SIC criteria or with markedly elevated D-dimer.”
— Tang N, Bai H, Chen X, Gong J, Li D, Sun Z. Anticoagulant treatment is associated with decreased mortality in severe coronavirus disease 2019 patients with coagulopathy. J Thromb Haemost. 2020;18(5):1094-1099. doi:10.1111/jth.14817.