Diagn Histopathol (Oxf). 2021 Mar;27(3):123-127. doi: 10.1016/j.mpdhp.2020.11.009. Epub 2020 Dec 4.
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the recently discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is a pandemic, infectious disease that has simultaneously affected many countries globally. The leading cause of dead in patients with COVID-19 is hypoxic respiratory failure from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) is the histopathological pattern commonly described in all the postmortem series up to date. DAD is divided into two phases, and depending on the length of the disease, the morphological features seen in the specimens vary. There is an acute/exudative phase, which occurs during the first week after the pulmonary injury, following by the organizing/proliferative phase. Additional features detailed include vascular thrombosis, endothelialitis and angiogenesis. Interestingly, there is an ongoing discussion about the specificity of these changes, as diffuse alveolar damage seen in other viral infections show similar features.