Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 genome has been detected in a variety of human samples including blood, urine, semen, and faeces. However, evidence of virus presence in tissues other than lung are limited. Methods: We investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 could be detected in 50 autoptic specimens of endocrine organs from 29 patients who died of COVID-19. Results: The virus was detected in 25 specimens including ten abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue samples (62%), six testes (67%), and nine thyroid (36%) samples. The analysis of multiple endocrine organ samples obtained from the same patients showed that, in virus-positive cases, the viral genome was consistently detected in all but two matched specimens. Conclusion: Our findings show that the virus spread into endocrine organs is a common event in severe cases. Further studies should assess the rate of the phenomenon in clinically mild cases. The potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on endocrine functions should be taken into consideration.

COVID-19 autopsy cases: detection of virus in endocrine tissues

Poma A. M.;Giannini R.;Macerola E.;Ugolini C.;Torregrossa L.;Proietti A.;Pistello M.;Basolo A.;Santini F.;Basolo F.
2021

Abstract

Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 genome has been detected in a variety of human samples including blood, urine, semen, and faeces. However, evidence of virus presence in tissues other than lung are limited. Methods: We investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 could be detected in 50 autoptic specimens of endocrine organs from 29 patients who died of COVID-19. Results: The virus was detected in 25 specimens including ten abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue samples (62%), six testes (67%), and nine thyroid (36%) samples. The analysis of multiple endocrine organ samples obtained from the same patients showed that, in virus-positive cases, the viral genome was consistently detected in all but two matched specimens. Conclusion: Our findings show that the virus spread into endocrine organs is a common event in severe cases. Further studies should assess the rate of the phenomenon in clinically mild cases. The potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on endocrine functions should be taken into consideration.
Poma, A. M.; Bonuccelli, D.; Giannini, R.; Macerola, E.; Vignali, P.; Ugolini, C.; Torregrossa, L.; Proietti, A.; Pistello, M.; Basolo, A.; Santini, F.; Toniolo, A.; Basolo, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1114190
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