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13 February 2021 : Clinical Research

[Retracted] Autopsy and Histologic Findings of Patients with New Coronavirus Pneumonia: The Pathologic Associations with Hypoxemia

Heng Zhang1BCDEF, Jun Zhou1BCF, Rong Chen2BC, Yong Ren3BC, Jun Cai4BC, Lei Zhao4BC, Xiaochun Fei1BC, Zhenhua Liu5BC, Yu Zhang3BC, Ling Yuan3BC, Chaofu Wang1ADG*

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.928837

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e928837


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. To further reveal the pathologic associations between coronavirus and hypoxemia, we report the findings of 4 complete systematic autopsies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-positive individuals who died of multiple organ failure caused by severe hypoxemia.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We examined the donated corpses of 4 deceased patients who had been diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. A complete post-mortem examination was carried out on each corpse, and multiple organs were macroscopically examined.

RESULTS: The 4 corpses were 2 males and 2 females, with an average age of 69 years. Bilateral lungs showed various degrees of atrophy and consolidation, with diffusely tough and solid texture in the sections. A thromboembolism was found in the main pulmonary artery extending into the atrium in 1 corpse, and significant atherosclerotic plaques tagged in the inner wall of the aortic arch were found in 2 corpses. Two corpses were found to have slightly atrophied bilateral renal parenchyma. Atrophic changes in the spleen were found in 2 corpses. Notably, there were significantly expanded alveolar septa and prominent fibroblastic proliferation.

CONCLUSIONS: The laboratory data of these corpses showed a progressive decrease in blood oxygen saturation, followed by refractory and irreversible hypoxemia. Clinical and laboratory information and autopsy and histologic presentations of multiple organs showed insufficient air exchange due to abnormalities in the respiratory system, and reduced erythropoiesis in bone marrow may play a role.

Keywords: Retracted Publication

Retraction note

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