Since it began to plague the world population, COVID-19 has been the subject of numerous studies around the world. And during this week, a study by the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUC-PR) identified it as a vascular disease, and not just as a lung disease.
Entitled “Endothelial Dysfunct ion and Thrombosis in Patients With COVID-19”, the work points out that individuals infected with coronavirus have endothelial cell damage, a type of flattened thick cell variable that covers the inside of blood vessels, especially blood capillaries, thus forming part of its wall. With this in mind, the experts behind this study sought to understand how this lesion appears and is related to SARS-CoV-2 and how it can cause thrombosis, leading the patient to death.
The PUC-PR researchers analyzed post-mortem samples from patients with an average age of 75 years and with comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. “Our results demonstrated that the endothelium (layer of endothelial cells) that lines our vessels is being damaged by the virus and the inflammation that the virus causes. In addition, we were able to clarify part of the mechanisms of this injury. The study suggests that the use of anticoagulants early can help in the treatment of COVID-19, in order to prevent thrombus, “says Lucia de Noronha, professor at the School of Medicine at PUC-PR and one of those responsible for the research.
Meanwhile, another study from the same institution, called “Mast cell degranulation inveolar septa and SARS-CoV-2: a pathogenic pathway linking interstitial edema to immunothrombosis” (“Degranulation of mast cells in the alveolar septum and SARS-CoV-2: a pathogenic pathway that links interstitial edema to immunothrombosis ”, in Portuguese) consists of counting mast cells, cells linked to allergic reactions, in the lungs of patients with COVID-19, and then comparing them with other diseases, with the idea of understanding what is the role of these cells in coronavirus infections.
Researcher Lucia mentions that the results showed that people with COVID-19 have more mast cells than patients infected with other types of respiratory diseases, such as H1N1. This suggests that the cell may play a role in the evolution of the disease and helps to understand how the disease causes damage to the lungs and other organs, such as the heart.
“The discovery also helps in the treatment of the disease, as it indicates that perhaps we can use drugs that stabilize mast cells, since the virus seems to cause a destabilization of these cells, which start to release granules rich in substances that aggravate the inflammatory process, aggravate the injury vascular and provide thrombosis ”, he explains.
It turns out that these researches are part of a larger project of the Marcelino Champagnat Hospital, of the Marist Group, on the new coronavirus. There are studies involving both post-mortem sample analysis and research with surviving patients, as well as imaging studies and clinical data. The idea is that there will be an increasing depth about the disease that infected more than 4 million Brazilians so that, in the near future, its treatment can be more effective.
Did you like this article?
Subscribe your email to Canaltech to receive daily updates with the latest news from the world of technology.