COVID-19 attacks organs in different ways, study shows

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      In research published recently in Critical Care, blood markers indicated that lung tissue sustained more damage than blood vessels or other organs. This research confirms clinical observations made over the year and may guide the development of future therapeutics against the virus, said first author Dr. Pavan Bhatraju, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at UW Medicine and Harborview Medical Center.

      “In this study, we enrolled critically ill patients in the ICU, some with COVID-19 and others without, and compared (them) against each other via the use of blood markers,” Bhatraju said. “Patients with COVID-19 did not do worse than patients with other types of diseases that lead to ICU care. I think this is reassuring and suggests that while the underlying biology is different between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19, the outcomes are similar.”

      One limitation of previous research has been the comparison of patients critically ill with COVID-19 with healthy patients, noted Dr. Eric Morrell, a co-first author of the paper.

      “This is one of the largest studies to compare critically ill patients with and without COVID-19 who were enrolled at the same time,” which enables an “apples-to-apples” comparison, said Morrell. He is a UW assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

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