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Cardiac megakaryocytes in SARS-CoV-2 positive autopsies

Gawelek, Kara L; Padera, Robert; Connors, Jean; Pinkus, Geraldine S; Podznyakova, Olga; Battinelli, Elisabeth M
Thromboembolic phenomena are an important complication of infection by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Increasing focus on management of the thrombotic complications of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to further investigation into the role of platelets, and their precursor cell, the megakaryocyte, during disease course. Previously published post-mortem evaluations of patients who succumbed to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have reported the presence of megakaryocytes in the cardiac microvasculature. Our series evaluated a cohort of autopsies performed on SARS-CoV-2 positive patients in 2020 (n = 36) and pre-pandemic autopsies performed in early 2020 (n = 12) and selected to represent comorbidities common in cases of severe COVID-19 in addition to infectious and non-infectious pulmonary disease and thromboembolic phenomena. Cases were assessed for the presence of cardiac megakaryocytes and correlate with the presence of pulmonary emboli and laboratory platelet parameters and inflammatory markers. Cardiac megakaryocytes were detected in 64% (23/36) of COVID-19 autopsies, and 40% (5/12) pre-pandemic autopsies, with averages of 1.77 and 0.84 megakaryocytes per cm2 , respectively. Within the COVID-19 cohort, autopsies with detected megakaryocytes had significantly higher platelet counts compared with cases throughout; other platelet parameters were not statistically significant between groups. Although studies have supported a role of platelets and megakaryocytes in the response to viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, our findings suggest cardiac megakaryocytes may be representative of a non-specific inflammatory response and are frequent in, but not exclusive to, COVID-19 autopsies.
PMID: 35925828
ISSN: 1365-2559
CID: 5297612

Magnetic resonance molecular imaging of extradomain B fibronectin enables detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma metastasis

Qiao, Peter L; Gargesha, Mahdusudhana; Liu, Yiqiao; Laney, Victoria E A; Hall, Ryan C; Vaidya, Amita M; Gilmore, Hannah; Gawelek, Kara; Scott, Bryan B; Roy, Debashish; Wilson, David L; Lu, Zheng-Rong
Extradomain-B Fibronectin (EDB-FN) is an oncomarker that can be visualized with magnetic resonance molecular imaging (MRMI) to detect pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) metastasis. In this study, we sought to assess the expression of EDB-FN in clinical samples of PDAC and to evaluate MRMI of PDAC metastasis with an EDB-FN-specific gadolinium-based contrast agent (MT218) in an orthotopic KPC-GFP-Luc mouse model. EDB-FN expression was evaluated in PDAC tissue samples through immunohistochemistry. RNA-Seq data obtained from the GEPIA2 project was evaluated to demonstrate EDB-FN expression in large patient cohorts. FLASH-3D MRI at 3 T of the KPC-GFP-Luc metastasis model was performed following injection of MT218. Tumor enhancement in MR images was correlated to postmortem distribution of KPC-GFP-Luc tumors using fluorescent and bright-field cryo-imaging and anatomical landmarks. EDB-FN immunohistochemical staining scores of human metastatic tumor stroma, (2.17 ± 0.271), metastatic tumor parenchyma (2.08 ± 0.229), primary tumor stroma (1.61 ± 0.26), and primary tumor parenchyma (1.61 ± 0.12) were significantly (p < 0.0001) higher than normal pancreas stroma (0.14 ± 0.10) and normal pancreas parenchyma (0.14 ± 0.14). EDB-FN mRNA expression in tumors is 4.98 log2(TPM + 1) and 0.18 log2(TPM + 1) in normal tissue (p < 0.01). A mouse model of EDB-FN rich PDAC metastasis exhibited T1-weighted contrast to noise (CNR) changes of 21.80 ± 4.34 in perimetastatic regions and 8.38 ± 0.79 in metastatic regions identified through cryo-imaging, significantly higher (p < 0.05) than CNR changes found in normal liver (-6.43 ± 0.92), mesentery (2.24 ± 0.92), spleen (-3.06 ± 2.38) and intestine (1.08 ± 2.15). We conclude that EDB-FN is overexpressed in metastatic and primary PDAC tumors and MRMI with MT218 enables the detection of metastatic and perimetastatic tissues.
PMID: 34801672
ISSN: 1873-5894
CID: 5297602

Are Platelets SARS-CoV-2's "Dead End"? [Comment]

Gawelek, Kara L; Battinelli, Elisabeth M
PMID: 34473529
ISSN: 1524-4571
CID: 5297592

A Postmortem Portrait of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: A Large Multiinstitutional Autopsy Survey Study

Hooper, Jody E; Padera, Robert F; Dolhnikoff, Marisa; da Silva, Luiz Fernando Ferraz; Duarte-Neto, Amaro Nunes; Kapp, Meghan E; Lacy, J Matthew; Mauad, Thais; Nascimento Saldiva, Paulo Hilario; Rapkiewicz, Amy V; Wolf, Dwayne A; Felix, Juan C; Benson, Paul; de Almeida Monteiro, Renata Aparecida; Shanes, Elisheva; Gawelek, Kara L; Marshall, Desiree A; McDonald, Michelle M; Muller, William; Priemer, David S; Solomon, Isaac H; Zak, Taylor; Bhattacharjee, Meenakshi B; Fu, Lucy; Gilbert, Andrea R; Harper, Holly L; Litovsky, Silvio; Lomasney, Jon; Mount, Sharon L; Reilly, Stephanie; Sekulic, Miroslav; Steffensen, Thora S; Threlkeld, Kirsten J; Zhao, Bihong; Williamson, Alex K
CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:This study represents the largest compilation to date of clinical and postmortem data from decedents with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It will augment previously published small series of autopsy case reports, refine clinicopathologic considerations, and improve the accuracy of future vital statistical reporting. OBJECTIVE:To accurately reflect the pre-existing diseases and pathologic conditions of decedents with Sars-CoV-2 infection through autopsy. DESIGN/METHODS:Comprehensive data from 135 autopsy evaluations of COVID-19-positive decedents is presented, including histologic assessment. Postmortem examinations were performed by 36 pathologists at 19 medical centers or forensic institutions in the United States and Brazil. Data from each autopsy were collected through the online submission of multiple choice and openended survey responses. RESULTS:Patients dying of or with COVID-19 had an average of 8.89 pathologic conditions documented at autopsy, spanning a combination of prior chronic disease and acute conditions acquired during hospitalization. Virtually all decedents were cited as having more than one preexisting condition, encompassing an average of 2.88 such diseases each. Clinical conditions during terminal hospitalization were cited 395 times for the 135 autopsied decedents and predominantly encompassed acute failure of multiple organ systems and/or impaired coagulation. Myocarditis was rarely cited. CONCLUSIONS:Cause-of-death statements in both autopsy reports and death certificates may not encompass the severity or spectrum of co-morbid conditions in those dying of or with COVID-19. If supported by additional research, this finding may have implications for public health decisions and reporting moving forward through the pandemic.
PMID: 33449998
ISSN: 1543-2165
CID: 4747362

Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Immunohistochemistry as a Panfungal Screening Assay [Meeting Abstract]

Gawelek, Kara; Padera, Robert; Laga, Alvaro; Solomon, Isaac
ISSN: 0893-3952
CID: 5297712

Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Immunohistochemistry as a Panfungal Screening Assay [Meeting Abstract]

Gawelek, Kara; Padera, Robert; Laga, Alvaro; Solomon, Isaac
ISSN: 0023-6837
CID: 5297722

Seeding from percutaneous liver biopsy: A case of iatrogenic cutaneous breast cancer [Case Report]

Guo, Lisa N; Gawelek, Kara L; Russell-Goldman, Eleanor; Nambudiri, Vinod E
PMID: 32141163
ISSN: 1524-4741
CID: 5297582

Discrepancies between Clinician-Reported Cause of Death and Pathologist-Reported Cause of Death [Meeting Abstract]

Gawelek, Kara; Padera, Robert; Siciliano, Michelle; Plaisted, Jacob
ISSN: 0893-3952
CID: 5297682

Discrepancies between Clinician-Reported Cause of Death and Pathologist-Reported Cause of Death [Meeting Abstract]

Gawelek, Kara; Padera, Robert; Siciliano, Michelle; Plaisted, Jacob
ISSN: 0023-6837
CID: 5297662

Defining the Landscape of Pathology Education at US Medical Schools: Survey and Correlation with Interest in Pathology Residency [Meeting Abstract]

Gawelek, Kara; Lovitch, Scott
ISSN: 0893-3952
CID: 5297692