Minimally invasive autopsies for the investigation of pulmonary pathology of COVID-19-experiences of a longitudinal series of 92 patients.

Publication date: Sep 01, 2023

Minimally invasive autopsies (MIAs) allow the collection of tissue samples for diagnostic and research purposes in special situations, e. g., when there is a high risk of infection which is the case in the context of COVID-19 or restrictions due to legal or personal reasons. We performed MIA to analyze lung tissue from 92 COVID-19 patients (mean age 78 years; range 48-98; 35 women, 57 men), representing 44% of all patients who died from the disease between October 2020 and April 2021. An intercostal approach was used with removal of a 5-cm rib section followed by manual collection of four lung tissue samples (5-8 cm in size). Diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) was found in 89 (97%) patients at various stages. Exudative DAD (eDAD) predominated in 18 (20%) patients, proliferative DAD (pDAD) in 43 (47%) patients, and mixed DAD (mDAD) in 31 (34%) patients. There were no significant differences in the predominant DAD pattern between tissue samples from the same patient. Additional purulent components were present in 46 (50%) cases. Fungi were detected in 11 (12%) patients. The pDAD pattern was associated with longer hospital stay including intensive care unit (p=0. 026 and p

Concepts Keywords
April COVID-19
Dad Diffuse alveolar damage
Fungi Minimally invasive autopsy
Pathology Pulmonary pathology


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH infection

Original Article

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