Clinicopathology of severe acute respiratory syndrome: an autopsy case report.J Formos Med Assoc. 2004 Oct; 103(10):787-92.JF
In mid-April 2003, a major outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) developed in Taiwan. During the outbreak, SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was documented in 346 patients and 73 of them died. Autopsy was performed in 9 of the suspected SARS patients who died during the outbreak, but SARS was the cause of death in only 1 of these patients. Here we report the histological features of this patient and their clinicopathological correlations. The patient, a 36-year-old Indonesian woman, was a caretaker working for a Taiwanese family. She stayed in Taipei Jen-Chi Hospital from April 10 to April 19 to take care of her elderly employer. She developed fever on April 21 and respiratory distress on April 25, and received ribavirin, intravenous immunoglobulin, and steroid. The respiratory distress persisted and worsened, and intubation was performed on April 27. The respiratory condition improved initially after mechanical ventilation, but subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum developed on May 1. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died on May 2, 11 days after the onset of fever. Autopsy was performed on the same day. Histologically, the lungs showed severe diffuse alveolar damage and bronchopneumonia, but no viral inclusion. The spleen and lymph nodes revealed lymphoid depletion and the liver showed microvesicular steatosis. No specific pathological change was seen in the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. SARS-CoV genome was detected in the nasopharyngeal aspirate and the autopsy lung specimen.