Pathologic Features of COVID-19: A Concise Review

 | Post date: 2020/07/5 | 

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Mohammadreza Tabarya, Shaghayegh Khanmohammadib, Farnaz Araghic, Sahar Dadkhahfarc, Seyed Mohammad Tavangard

Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Center, Tehran, Iran

b  School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

c  Skin Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

d  Department of Pathology, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), first appeared in December 2019, in Wuhan, China and evolved into a pandemic. As Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is one of the potential target receptors for SARS-CoV-2 in human body, which is expressed in different tissues, multiple organs might become affected. In the initial phase of the current pandemic, a handful of post-mortem case-series revealed COVID-19-related pathological changes in various organs. Although pathological examination is not a feasible method of diagnosis, it can elucidate pathological changes, pathogenesis of the disease, and the cause of death in COVID-19 cases. Herein, we thoroughly reviewed multiple organs including lung, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidney, skin, heart, blood, spleen, lymph nodes, brain, blood vessels, and placenta in terms of COVID-19-related pathological alterations. Also, these findings were compared with SARS and MERS infection, wherever applicable. We found a diverse range of pathological changes, some of which resemble those found in SARS and MERS.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Pathology, Histopathology

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