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Panminerva Medica 2020 Oct 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0031-0808.20.04157-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

SARS-CoV-2-related lung pathology: macroscopic and histologic features and their clinical implications

Francesca SANGUEDOLCE 1 , Magda ZANELLI 2, Stefano ASCANI 3, Maurizio ZIZZO 4, 5, Simona TORTORELLA 1, Alessandra SORIANO 6, Alberto CAVAZZA 2, Francesco SOLLITTO 7, Domenico LOIZZI 7

1 Pathology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Ospedali Riuniti di Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 2 Pathology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 3 Pathology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Maria di Terni, University of Perugia, Terni, Italy; 4 Surgical Oncology Unit, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 5 Clinical and Experimental Medicine PhD Program, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; 6 Gastroenterology
Division and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Department of Internal Medicine, Azienda USL-IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 7 Institute of Thoracic Surgery, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy


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The ongoing global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been posing challenges to proper patients’ management. Lungs are the first, and often the most affected organ by SARS-CoV-2; viral infection involves and damages both epithelial and vascular compartments, sometimes leading to severe and even fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome. Histopathological findings, mainly from postmortem examination of COVID-19 deceased patients, have been increasingly published in the last few months, helping to elucidate the sequence of events resulting in organ injury, and the complex multifactorial pathogenesis of this novel disease. A multidisciplinary approach to autopsy, including light microscopy examination along with the detection of viral proteins and/or RNA in tissue samples through ancillary techniques, provided crucial information on the mechanisms underlying the often-heterogeneous clinical picture of COVID-19.


KEY WORDS: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Lung pathology; Postmortem examination; Immunohistochemistry

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