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SARS-CoV-2-Laden Respiratory Aerosol Deposition in the Lung Alveolar-Interstitial Region Is a Potential Risk Factor for Severe Disease: A Modeling Study
Journal of Personalized Medicine ; 11(5):431, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1234764
ABSTRACT
COVID-19, predominantly a mild disease, is associated with more severe clinical manifestation upon pulmonary involvement. Virion-laden aerosols and droplets target different anatomical sites for deposition. Compared to droplets, aerosols more readily advance into the peripheral lung. We performed in silico modeling to confirm the secondary pulmonary lobules as the primary site of disease initiation. By taking different anatomical aerosol origins into consideration and reflecting aerosols from exhalation maneuvers breathing and vocalization, the physicochemical properties of generated respiratory aerosol particles were defined upon conversion to droplet nuclei by evaporation at ambient air. To provide detailed, spatially-resolved information on particle deposition in the thoracic region of the lung, a top-down refinement approach was employed. Our study presents evidence for hot spots of aerosol deposition in lung generations beyond the terminal bronchiole, with a maximum in the secondary pulmonary lobules and a high preference to the lower lobes of both lungs. In vivo, initial chest CT anomalies, the ground glass opacities, resulting from partial alveolar filling and interstitial thickening in the secondary pulmonary lobules, are likewise localized in these lung generations, with the highest frequency in both lower lobes and in the early stage of disease. Hence, our results suggest a disease initiation right there upon inhalation of virion-laden respiratory aerosols, linking the aerosol transmission route to pathogenesis associated with higher disease burden and identifying aerosol transmission as a new independent risk factor for developing a pulmonary phase with a severe outcome.

Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MDPI Document Type: Article Type of study: Etiology study / Prognostic study / Risk factors Language: English Journal: Journal of Personalized Medicine Year: 2021

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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MDPI Document Type: Article Type of study: Etiology study / Prognostic study / Risk factors Language: English Journal: Journal of Personalized Medicine Year: 2021
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