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Lungs of dead COVID-19 patients show distinctive features

Date: 26 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


To help create the vaccine for the novel coronavirus infection, a team of researchers has described the clinical features of the lungs of deceased Covid-19 patients.



According to the study, a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19.



  • They compared this group to seven autopsied lungs obtained from patients who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to influenza A (H1N1) infection as well as to 10 age-matched uninfected control lungs.

  • While the lungs shared some common features, there were distinctive features related to blood vessels seen in the lungs of patients who had died of Covid-19.

  • The research team observed that COVID-19 damaged the endothelial cells (vascular lining cells), causing severe endothelial injury.

  • Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting as well as new vessel growth, the latter likely a result of the body's response to the virus.

  • The team saw signs of a distinctive pattern of pulmonary vascular disease progression in some cases of COVID-19 compared to that of equally severe influenza virus infection.

  • Damaged blood vessels may also underlie other problems seen, such as COVID toe, children with Kawasaki, stroke, and other seemingly unrelated problems seen with COVID-19.

  • Some of the key points from the study are: the damage to vascular cells helps explain the serious blot clotting observed in patients and a unique response, intussusceptive angiogenesis (IA), is the way the body compensates for the thrombosis and blood vessel damage.

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