Brain abnormalities are a concern in COVID-19, so we used minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) to investigate it, consisting of brain 7T MR and CT images and tissue sampling via transethmoidal route with at least three fragments: the first one for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and the remaining fixed and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Two mouse monoclonal anti-coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies were employed in immunohistochemical (IHC) reactions.
Seven deceased COVID-19 patients underwent MIA with brain MR and CT images, six of them with tissue sampling. Imaging findings included infarcts, punctate brain hemorrhagic foci, subarachnoid hemorrhage and signal abnormalities in the splenium, basal ganglia, white matter, hippocampi and posterior cortico-subcortical. Punctate brain hemorrhage was the most common finding (three out of seven cases). Brain histological analysis revealed reactive gliosis, congestion, cortical neuron eosinophilic degeneration and axonal disruption in all six cases. Other findings included edema (5 cases), discrete perivascular hemorrhages (5), cerebral small vessel disease (3), perivascular hemosiderin deposits (3), Alzheimer type II glia (3), abundant corpora amylacea (3), ischemic foci (1), periventricular encephalitis foci (1), periventricular vascular ectasia (1) and fibrin thrombi (1). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected with RT-PCR in 5 out of 5 and IHC in 6 out 6 patients (100%).
Despite limited sampling, MIA was an effective tool to evaluate underlying pathological brain changes in deceased COVID-19 patients. Imaging findings were varied, and pathological features corroborated signs of hypoxia, alterations related to systemic critically ill and SARS-CoV-2 brain invasion.
We aimed to determine if patient symptoms and computed tomography enterography (CTE) and magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) imaging findings can be used to predict near-term risk of surgery in patients with small bowel Crohn’s disease (CD).
CD patients with small bowel strictures undergoing serial CTE or MRE were retrospectively identified. Strictures were defined by luminal narrowing, bowel wall thickening, and unequivocal proximal small bowel dilation. Harvey-Bradshaw index (HBI) was recorded. Stricture observations and measurements were performed on baseline CTE or MRE and compared to with prior and subsequent scans. Patients were divided into those who underwent surgery within 2 years and those who did not. LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) regression models were trained and validated using 5-fold cross-validation.
Eighty-five patients (43.7 ± 15.3 years of age at baseline scan, majority male [57.6%]) had 137 small bowel strictures. Surgery was performed in 26 patients within 2 years from baseline CTE or MRE. In univariate analysis of patients with prior exams, development of stricture on the baseline exam was associated with near-term surgery (P = .006). A mathematical model using baseline features predicting surgery within 2 years included an HBI of 5 to 7 (odds ratio [OR], 1.7 × 105; P = .057), an HBI of 8 to 16 (OR, 3.1 × 105; P = .054), anastomotic stricture (OR, 0.002; P = .091), bowel wall thickness (OR, 4.7; P = .064), penetrating behavior (OR, 3.1 × 103; P = .096), and newly developed stricture (OR: 7.2 × 107; P = .062). This model demonstrated sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 73% (area under the curve, 0.62).
CTE or MRE imaging findings in combination with HBI can potentially predict which patients will require surgery within 2 years.