Post-mortem biopsy of a patient with late exacerbation of COVID-19 pneumonia

Respirol Case Rep. 2021 Feb 22;9(4):e00724. doi: 10.1002/rcr2.724. eCollection 2021 Apr.


Pathological findings of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have rarely been reported owing to its contagious nature. Here, we treated an 82-year-old man whose condition was diagnosed as COVID-19 pneumonia, which exacerbated approximately 25 days after the initial onset. The patient died despite receiving intensive care. Post-mortem percutaneous needle biopsy of the lungs and liver tissue was performed, including genomic analysis, immunochemical tests, and pathological studies. Histopathology of the lungs showed both exudative and organizing diffuse alveolar damage. Supposedly, the organizing phase of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) induced COVID-19. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and immunostaining of biopsy specimens showed negative results for COVID-19. Post-mortem percutaneous needle biopsy was more effective in reducing the risk of contagiousness than autopsy.

Keywords: COVID‐19; PCR; late exacerbation; post‐mortem biopsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports