Another complete autopsy report: breakthrough COVID-19

People continue to die from COVID-19 despite vaccinations, particularly if they are elderly and in the presence of comorbidities.

An 83-year-old fully vaccinated man (Pfizer vaccine) who suffered from heart failure, valvular heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus, and chronic renal failure, was admitted to hospital with worsening dyspnea as an exacerbation of chronic heart failure. A nasopharyngeal swab tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 on admission to the hospital. After 11 days of hospitalization, the patient complained of worsening dyspnea, the health workers again took a molecular swab that gave a positive result for COVID-19. Although the patient was treated for COVID-19 according to the guidelines, he died after 18 days. 

The autopsy was conducted according to the Letulle technique, thus reducing environmental contamination. On microscopic examination, the lungs showed massive interstitial pneumonia, areas of inflammation with interstitial lympho-plasma cell infiltrate, and interstitial edema. The liver showed granulocytes within the hepatic parenchyma. All these elements were consistent with previous published data on unvaccinated patients who had died from COVID-19. 

(See also an autopsy report of breakthrough COVID in an 86-year-old man)


Esposito M, Cocimano G, Vanaria F, Sessa F, Salerno M. Death from COVID-19 in a Fully Vaccinated Subject: A Complete Autopsy Report. Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Jan 9;11(1):142. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11010142. PMID: 36679987.


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